Online course platforms, in a nutshell, are an avenue for you to create an online course where you can teach your students. It doesn’t mean that you have to create the whole course from scratch (including the website). Instead, online course platforms allow you to integrate your existing class and make it compatible with online learning.
The convenience of having course platforms is that, for one, they allow you to build sales landing pages. Some help you price your course and facilitate easy collection of payments. Most, if not all, will enable you to efficiently upload your materials such as videos, assignments, quizzes, course content, and other relevant materials needed to engage with students. Others even have features allowing you to host live webinars on their platforms.
An unintentional effect of course platforms is they create membership communities! Dozens of Facebook, Discord, and Telegram groups and channels have been born due to the bond of students who took up the same online courses.
What are the Best Online Course Platforms?
We collected several known names in the course platform industry based on several factors: Course building features, availability of payment solutions, integrations, flexibility/customizability, user-friendliness, and quality of support.
Here are our picks for the best online course platforms to try:
Best Overall Online Course Platform
Thinkific is our favorite free online course platform, and that’s why we gave it the number 1 spot. Of course, their free plan has its limitations, but if your someone who wants to get started right away, it’s a great place to start!
The platform is home to over 50,000-course creators and has helped the same earn $340 million making it a very profitable online course platform for your business.
What makes Thinkific great is that it is an all-in-one solution. That is, whether you’re a beginner in selling courses or not, you’ll find that Thinkific’s extremely easy-to-navigate feature is a huge timesaver. In addition, Thinkific gives you a lot of room to customize your course and match it with your existing brand.
The platform also allows you to manage your clients, payments, course materials, integrations, and much more from the user-friendly dashboard for your added convenience.
- Drag-and-drop for easy creation of courses
- Course expiry for better course management
- Reporting and tracking tools
- Integrations with Google and Facebook
- Free plan available
- Paid plans start at $49/month
Best Online Course Platform For Video Creators
If you have a knack for teaching through videos, we recommend exploring Learnworlds as your online course platform. It’s the best choice for those creatives looking to interact in unique (whether you’re thinking of quizzes, gamification, interactive videos, etc.) ways with their students.
- Interactive video player and reader
- Powerful page builder
- Assessment engine for the creation of advanced quizzes, exams, and assignment
- Free plan available
- Paid plans start at $24/month
The Most Popular Online Course Platform
Udemy took the “most popular” title, but make no mistake; this platform is not just about popularity. There are several reasons why this became the platform of choice of more than 130,000 courses.
Udemy enables you to plan your lectures in Microsoft Excel or Google Docs. The platform also lets you create courses in multiple languages. Another great feature is that It has an instructor dashboard that helps you to keep track of your offered courses.
Like most platforms, Udemy also helps you to record video materials for your class. A team will review the content of your video once you’ve created and uploaded them before actually publishing it.
- Monitoring tools – a convenient way to track student progress
- It lets you customize courses to match your brand
- Multilingual support
Free to use but has profit-sharing agreements with the course creator depending on how the student came across the course.
Best Online Course Platform for Professionals
If you’re a professional looking for a platform that looks professional and exudes a certain aura of legitimacy, then Kajabi is the platform for you.
Thanks to its wealth of features, Kajabi is perfect for both beginners and advanced users alike. Thanks to its user-friendly dashboard and its drag-and-drop feature, this platform is ideal for those just getting started. At the same time, however, its ability for customization appeals to the veterans. You’ll be able to get your made-to-order digital courses up and running without the need for any special design skills.
With Kajabi, you can easily convert your content into high-ticket or premium paid courses or subscriptions. Additionally, you can quickly grow your email list, send them important course updates, develop sales funnels using its powerful page builder features, and monitor your students to address their needs and concerns better.
- Wistia video hosting feature
- Robust sales and marketing tools
- Integrated with Stripe and Paypal
- 14-day free trial
- Premium plans start at $119/month
Best Online Course Platform for Beginners
Teachable is arguably the most prominent online course on the platform today. It hosts over 100,000 course creators and is responsible for helping the same earn over $500 million in course sales.
It’s not hard to think why Teachable is one of the preferred names for course creators. It is user-friendly, and its template allows beginners to plug in their course, customize it a bit, and publish it right away.
Creators can easily set up a course through the dashboard and other nifty features such as payments, sales pages, and affiliate sections.
- Easily import content
- Sends course certificates to students
- Multimedia lectures
- Convenient payment systems
- Free plan
- Paid plans start at just $29/month
Best Online Course Platform For The Non-Tech-Savvy
You know you are a good teacher, but you’re struggling behind the scenes because you have to deal with multiple apps just to get started. Well, Podia is the solution for your woes.
Podia is an all-in-one platform that lets you create materials, courses, webinars, and other course-related things all in one platform. For example, you can create standalone courses that include images, videos, audio files, and PDFs. You can then pre-sell the same courses by taking payment before the launch and manage membership within the platform too!
- Combine similar courses
- Digital downloads
- Lock content – lets you manage content accessible to students
- Email list management
- Live previews for courses
- 14-day free trial
- Paid plans starts at $39/month
Best Online Course Platform For WordPress Users
LearnDash is a popular WordPress LMS plugin and online course builder. This plugin lets you create online courses easily within WordPress.
LearnDash comes with a handy and intuitive drag and drop course builder to create various course types. It even allows you to add interactive video lessons, quizzes, assignments, and more.
You can give all course contents right away or use the drip content feature, which lets you release content as users move along a course. It is incredibly convenient to use, and there are many features for you to use to create an effective Learning Management System.
- Course awards
- Advanced quizzes – lets you create unique and complex quizzes and assignments
- Learner progress tracker
- Lets you give the course right away or through drip feature
- Paid plan starts at $159/year with a full 30-day money-back guarantee
Easiest Way To Set Up An Online Course
If you want to get started as soon as possible and just learn things along the way, then Ruzuku should be your platform of choice.
Ruzuku lets you launch and manage all your courses with a few clicks of a button on its dashboard. Breath life to your material using different materials such as PDFs, videos, and images. Best part? You can do all these things in the span of a few minutes. Not sure about the course you created? You can edit and reorder your steps with ease, launch your course, and generate sales in no time.
Ruzuku works well with apps like MailChimp, and payment gateways like Stripe and PayPal to help facilitate payments, all without charging any fees.
- Payment integrations with Stripe or Paypal
- Excellent customer support
- Student progress tracker
- Launch projects quickly through an intuitive dashboard
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Monthly plan starts at $99/month
- Yearly plan at $74.75/month
Best Online Course Platform For Corporate Clients
The list would not be complete without a platform that caters solely to the corporate world.
Corporations also need a platform they can use to upskill all their employees efficiently. Without this, it would be a logistical nightmare to pull out certain groups and hire someone to teach the same real-time. Again, Academy of Mine is the perfect platform to take care of this need.
It’s a learning management system that works well with different businesses, no matter your industry. You can create self-paced courses using videos, HTML, TinCan, and more. You can even set up live webinars with students to improve the level of interaction. You can also sell courses to corporations but allow them to tweak the modules depending on their need.
- Integrated website
- Interactive content through course materials and live webinars
- Self-paced courses
- Custom-built solutions depending on company needs
- No free plan, although you can call to set up a demo
- Paid services start at $499/month
Online Course Platforms FAQ’s
Online course platforms are types of Learning Management Systems (LMS) where users access educational materials from their computers or mobile devices. The beauty and probably the most significant benefit of these platforms is that it is available on demand. That is, whether you’re a full-time or a part-time student, you control the pace of your education. So if your plate is full from work, no worries, you can take a back seat and just go through the lessons when you’re free. You don’t have a job? That’s great! You can finish the course as soon as possible.
Some may argue that there’s no substitute for actual human interaction when it comes to learning. That may be true, but it is also unfair to compare these two directly.
Online learning is an excellent alternative to traditional education. Good online courses compensate for the lack of human touch and provide an immersive learning experience by using a combination of texts, instructional videos, audio, and other materials. In addition, some subject matters include more course materials.
Learning does not end after you leave college. Nor does learning require you to be within the four walls of a classroom. If anything, the recent pandemic has proven that learning online is the future of education – this is where online course platforms shine.
Online learning is perfect whether you’re needing to teach a course, or trying to learn some new skills, or just want to explore a topic for fun. What’s great with online course platforms is that they are easily accessible and allow you to set your learning pace. In addition, these platforms tend to be a little more flexible as far as scheduling is concerned. At the same time, some offer more specific or unusual courses or subjects that you wouldn’t find at your local, traditional college.
Yes! As a testament to the online course platform industry’s success, online courses have raked over 46 billion dollars in subscriptions during the last year alone. This figure continues to grow and is set to be worth $325 billion by 2025.
Online Course Platforms Summary
A few years ago, you wouldn’t think of teaching a course or learning online. However, advancements in technology have enabled platforms such as online course platforms (supplemented with other communication apps such as Zoom and other similar video conference platforms), making learning online a bit more manageable and viable.
There’s also a wide variety of choices available, so no matter what subject or course you’re looking to develop, there’s undoubtedly an online course platform for you to choose. We’ve laid out the essential details of each platform, so it’s now up to you to decide which one will help you teach your courses better and eventually sell them more effectively.
Last updated on by Joshua Holdeman