The 12 Best Online Course Platforms To Create And Sell Your Course
If you want to monetize your skills and expertise, create an online course.
It’s a great outlet to share your creativity. It also lets you earn money for what you teach!
However, there are many online course platforms—how do you decide which is best for your needs?
In this article, I ranked and reviewed the 12 best online course platforms to create and sell your courses. I’ve also listed my top five to help you choose the best one.
Here are my top five picks for online course platforms.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
What Is an Online Course Platform?
If you haven’t heard of online learning platforms before, they are browser-based sites that help you:
- Create courses and learning management systems.
- Build landing or sales pages.
- Collect payments and price your content.
- Upload your videos, tests, polls, and more.
- Start memberships and communities.
- Host live streams and webinars.
Most online course platforms create, deliver, and manage online courses. It’s excellent for schools, businesses, and people who want to create content for teaching.
They can also blend remote learning with traditional classrooms.
Teachers can offer online tests and materials for learning. Students can talk to their teachers and classmates live on the platform.
These platforms also track student progress and enable teachers to customize their course curriculum.
How To Choose the Best Online Course Platform
As the world of online education grows, finding your way through the many platforms for courses is challenging.
How do you decide which of the free or paid options is best for you and your students?
Here are some things to think about when choosing the best online course platform:
- Ease of use: Look for platforms that are easy to use and have a simple course creation process.
- Templates and features: Consider course templates, interactive elements, and payment processing options.
- Rendering capabilities: Consider video and audio playback quality and file format support.
- Cost: Determine your budget and compare each platform’s prices, including feature and support fees.
- Training and support: Look for platforms that have tutorial videos, forums, and customer service.
These factors will help you find the best online course platform to host and sell your classes and ensure that you and your students have an enjoyable learning session.
Best Online Course Platforms To Sell Online Courses
Let’s look at the top online course platform options for course creators.
Skool is an online course platform that features a community as its most valuable feature. Skool’s website mimics a Facebook group feed with member profiles.
Instructors can also create a leadership board for gamification and student awards.
It’s overall the best platform for managing a course, community and events at the same time.
Best For Community creation
Annual Discount N/A
Promotion Free 14-day trial
Skool is a community-driven online platform that puts the student experience first. Founded in 2019 by Sam Ovens, Skool incentivizes student success, and its courses and online community are unique.
- Community creation with user-created content: Skool lets people create communities with content made by other users. Users can create and join communities to share and discuss their content.
- Members’ profiles, direct messaging, and chat: Skool provides profiles for members. Members can also send direct messages and chat.
- Leadership board for gamification and reward: This feature lets users compete and win awards on the platform, making learning enjoyable and motivating.
- Visual calendar to organize online and offline events: Skool provides a visual calendar, making it easy to keep track of events and schedule them within the platform.
- Community-centered: Skool puts the community at the center of the student experience, making it easy to incentivize interaction and boost results.
- Excellent user experience: Skool is easy to use and has a clean, intuitive interface that makes it smooth for students and instructors to navigate.
- Fast-growing platform: Skool’s rapidly rising user base makes it a perfect venue for course creators.
- Limited features: Skool lacks video hosting and checkout, unlike other course platforms. However, it’s newer than the rest and it’s continuously adding features based on user requests
- Price: Skool’s pricing may be expensive for some course creators, especially if they need to buy extra tools. However, it allows you to save time and have everything centralized in one place, which other tools lack.
- No live chat or direct tech support: Skool does not offer live chat or direct tech support, which may concern some users. But the community help is quite good and efficient.
- Skool only offers a single plan for $99 monthly.
Podia allows creators and small businesses to create unlimited courses and digital products online. It boasts an easy-to-use UI and business-friendly functionality.
Best For Content creators and small businesses
Price Starting at $39/mo
Annual Discount 17% off on yearly plans
With Podia, you can transform your talents into an online business. Podia makes creating and selling digital products, courses, and memberships easy. It also allows you to create your private membership site.
- Membership site feature: It offers subscribers access to exclusive content and resources.
- Email marketing and automation: Podia’s email marketing and automation solutions let you send customized emails to followers.
- Customer support: Podia offers customer support through live chat, email, and a comprehensive help center.
- User-friendly interface: It’s well-suited for beginners.
- Unlimited video hosting: Unlimited courses, products, and bandwidth are also a huge draw.
- Wide range of products: You can sell almost any digital product and virtual content.
- Recurring income: The membership site feature ensures recurring income.
- Zero transaction fees!
- Limited customization: Some users might find the customization options lacking.
- Advanced features only on higher plans: Memberships and affiliate marketing are only available on more expensive plans.
- No mobile app
- Basic reporting tools: The reporting tools might not be suitable for the needs of big businesses.
Podia has four pricing tiers:
- Free: $0 monthly
- Mover: $39 monthly
- Shaker: $79 monthly
- Earthquaker: $179 monthly
Kajabi is an all-in-one platform for creating online courses, marketing, and student engagement. Kajabi lets you convert your expertise into a business and transform students’ lives.
Best For Entrepreneurs into online courses & digital items
Price Starting at $149/mo (for paid plans)
Annual Discount 20% discount on yearly plans
Promotion 30-day free trial for new users
Kajabi lets users create and sell online courses, membership sites, and digital products. It includes adjustable landing pages, email marketing tools, and payment gateway integration.
- Course creation tools: Kajabi allows users to post videos, audio files, and other course materials.
- Landing page builder: The page builder lets users design professional-looking course landing pages.
- Email marketing: Kajabi can create and send newsletters, automate email campaigns, and segment email lists.
- Integrations with payment gateways: Popular payment gateways include PayPal, Stripe, and Square.
- Customer management: Kajabi can manage customer accounts, create membership plans, and provide course access controls.
- Analytics and reporting: Users can track the performance of their courses and products.
- Ease of use: Kajabi has a user-friendly interface and a range of templates and design tools.
- All-in-one solution: Create, market, and sell online courses and digital items on a single platform.
- Scalability: Users can grow their business as their course or product becomes more popular.
- Support: Kajabi has email, phone, and knowledge base assistance.
- Cost: Kajabi’s pricing plans can be relatively expensive, especially for starters.
- Limited customization options: Kajabi’s customization choices are limiting.
- Lack of integrations: Kajabi integrations are less than competing platforms.
- Learning curve: There is still a learning curve involved. Some users may need more time to get up to speed with all the different features and tools available.
Kajabi has four pricing tiers:
- Build Mode: $0/limited time
- Basic: $149 monthly
- Growth: $199 monthly
- Pro: $399 monthly
Unlock your full potential as a teacher and entrepreneur with Thinkific!
Thinkific makes it easy to create online courses, coaching, or membership programs and grow your business.
Best For Coaches offering coaching services
Price Starting at $49/mo (for paid plans)
Annual Discount 25% discount for yearly plans
Promotion Free plan, 50% OFF 1st Month on Paid Plans
Thinkific is a platform for creating, marketing, and selling online courses. The platform lets you customize landing pages and offers marketing automation. It also has payment gateway integrations and dedicated team support.
- Affiliate program: Allows users to set up and manage an affiliate program to promote their courses and products.
- Multiple languages: Supports the creation and sale of courses in many languages.
- Engagement tools: Offers features to engage and interact with students, such as discussions and quizzes.
- Marketing automation: Provides tools to automate marketing tasks, such as email campaigns.
- Wide range of integrations: Thinkific integrates with email marketing, payment, and marketing automation solutions. It lets users connect Thinkific to other online business tools.
- Customizable checkout pages: Thinkific allows users to customize their checkout pages with logos and graphics.
- Multiple course formats: Thinkific supports multiple course formats, including self-paced courses, webinars, and group coaching programs.
- Zero transaction fees!
- Limited course creation tools: Thinkific has fewer course creation options than other online course platforms.
- No built-in affiliate program: Users using affiliates to market their courses must manually set up and manage affiliates.
- Limited support options: Thinkific does not offer phone or live chat support.
Thinkific has four pricing tiers:
- Free: $0 monthly
- Basic: $49 monthly
- Start: $99 monthly
- Grow: $199 monthly
Academy of Mine is an excellent LMS for onboarding and training. HR can host online courses and seminars and track employee attendance and performance.
Best For Employers and HR practitioners
Price Starting at $599/mo
Annual Discount N/A
Promotion Free trial
Academy of Mine is a scalable LMS for trainers. It’s white-labeled, so you can brand it and integrate it with your website. The platform also has student management tools and marketing and sales features.
- Unlimited scalability: This feature allows businesses to efficiently grow their user base without limits or additional fees.
- Custom branding: Businesses can brand the platform with logos, colors, etc.
- Interactive assessment tools: This feature includes tests, assignments, discussions, and evaluations or surveys to assess student knowledge.
- Multiple content formats: The platform supports various content formats, including text, video, PDF, SCORM, and HTML.
- Advanced reporting: This tool gives thorough reports on course progress, high-level overviews, visual eCommerce trend reports, and the option to export data.
- Pricing: It is more expensive than other online teaching platforms, especially for large enterprises.
- Limited integrations: The platform only directly integrates with a few email marketing services and payment gateways.
- No content hosting: Businesses must host their videos, audio files, and other content on other platforms and embed them into their courses.
- Limited customization options: While businesses can modify their courses’ branding and appearance, the platform offers less course creation flexibility than others.
Academy of Mine has three pricing tiers:
- Essentials: $599 monthly
- Professional: $999 monthly
- Enterprise: Custom Pricing
Learnworlds is the ideal site for scaling an online teaching business. The platform lets you build a learning management system and engage students with interactive features.
Best For Prominent content creators
Price Starting at $24/mo
Annual Discount 15-31% off on yearly plans
LearnWorlds allows content creators and businesses to monetize their talents, knowledge, and audience. It has no-code website templates, customizable courses, and a branded app.
- Attractive templates: Over 300 ready-made design templates to create a complete website and sales pages.
- User-friendly page builder: It offers industry-leading solutions for building a stunning online school.
- Quick template change: Users can quickly change between designs and test new themes.
- Advanced interactive video: This allows instructors to create interactive videos with questions, pop-ups, buttons, and other elements
- Digital textbooks: Allow students to take notes, highlight text, and offer pre-made ebook templates for instructors.
- Pre-built templates: Learnworlds has mobile-friendly templates. It makes creating a responsive course website easy.
- Customization choices: LearnWorlds allows language customization. This function helps create non-English courses.
- Excellent customer help: Learnworlds’ customer support has gained praise since 2014.
- Consistent updates and upgrades: LearnWorlds constantly updates and expands its features so users can keep their online course business up-to-date.
- Built-in accessibility feature: Some people say you could improve Learnworlds’ accessibility. It may be a disadvantage for users who want accessible courses.
- Glitches in the typing feature: LearnWorlds users have experienced typing problems. It may affect users who rely on this function to create courses.
- Lack of instant help on cheaper plans: Some LearnWorlds users who subscribed to more affordable plans did not experience instant service.
LearnWorlds has four pricing tiers:
- Starter: $29 monthly
- Pro Trainer: $84.15 monthly
- Learning Center: $254.15 monthly
- High volume & Corporate: Contact the sales team for details
Ruzuku is a great platform to teach small groups. Experts, coaches, and tutors can connect with their students one-on-one. It also lets students create social profiles.
Best For Personal tutors
Price Starting at $99/mo
Annual Discount 24-44% off on yearly plans
Promotion Free 14-day trial period
With Ruzuku’s Course Analytics, you can track student progress in your courses. Tutors and course creators can also market and sell online courses using affiliates.
- Course creation software: Ruzuku’s course creation software lets customers create courses in minutes.
- Payment processing: Ruzuku manages course enrollment and payment.
- Customization options: Users can customize their courses by adding polls, conversations, images, videos, and audio. It helps tutors develop student-specific courses.
- Automated notifications: Ruzuku can send students new content and course completion reminders.
- Course duplication: Ruzuku lets users replicate courses for split testing or making several versions.
- Flexible payment options: Students pay using a single payment system, payment plans, or a subscription framework.
- Flexible course content delivery: Ruzuku allows users to distribute course content all at once or over time, offering them course structure flexibility.
- Responsive email support: Ruzuku’s fast email support team can help users with inquiries or issues.
- Affiliate marketing: Ruzuku users can market and sell their courses through affiliates to reach a bigger audience.
- Limited payment processors: Ruzuku currently only integrates with two payment processors, PayPal and Stripe.
- Limited customization options: Ruzuku’s customization choices may be lacking for users who seek more course control.
- Limited teleconference and webinar capacity: Ruzuku’s teleconferences and webinars can only handle a limited number of students, which may be a problem for those significant course enrollments.
- Limited support options: Email is Ruzuku’s only reliable support option.
Ruzuku has three pricing tiers:
- University: $199
- Up-and-Corner: $149
- Bootstrapper: $99
Teachable turns your passions into a profitable teaching business. This standalone online course platform optimizes student engagement with bespoke features on your students’ end, such as quizzes, comments, and certifications.
Best For Customized student-side features
Price Starting at $39/mo (for paid plans)
Annual Discount 25% off on yearly plans
Promotion Free plan
Teachable offers premium in-class features and all the tools you need to build and grow a vibrant online course and coaching business. Whether you want to create self-paced courses or do live coaching, it’s possible with this platform.
- Integrated website builder: The website builder has templates and design tools that help users create custom sites.
- Custom domain: Teachable lets customers choose a custom domain instead of a subdomain. Users that want a solid online presence can benefit from it.
- Direct payment integrations: Teachable offers direct integrations with popular payment gateways, including PayPal, Stripe, and Square.
- Optimized student engagement: This platform lets you use customized features like comments, quizzes, and certificates of completion to boost learning outcomes and student satisfaction.
- Unlimited students: This feature allows instructors to enroll many students for free.
- Public API: Teachable’s public API allows users to access and get data using programming methods.
- Advanced theme customization: These options include changing the website’s colors, fonts, and layout.
- Limited integrations: Teachable integrates with popular payment methods rather than other tools or platforms. It limits the platform’s functionality.
- Complexity: Teachable’s advanced customization tools and features may be too complex for some users.
- Limited control: Some instructors seek more control over their online presence and course materials.
- Limited marketing options: Teachable offers marketing automation, but fewer than those of competing platforms. This limits users’ ability to advertise their courses.
Teachable has four pricing tiers:
- Free: $0 monthly
- Basic: $39 monthly
- Pro: $119 monthly
- Advanced: Contact sales for details
Teachery makes it easy for educators with a limited budget to create and market online courses. It provides all the necessary course creation and selling tools at a low price.
Best For Limited budget
Annual Discount 20% off with the yearly plan
Promotion Free 14-day trial
Teachery has an easy-to-follow onboarding process and affordable pricing plans. It has many tools, like course development and payment processing, to help new instructors with small budgets.
- Unlimited course creation: Create unlimited courses with unlimited lessons for an unlimited number of students.
- Customizable course design: The drag-and-drop course creator allows users to customize the appearance of their courses.
- Diverse content options: Instructors can use videos, audio, text, and presentations in their courses.
- Drip courses: Teachery allows users to schedule the release of course lessons or modules.
- Student management: Teachery provides tools for managing student enrollment, progress, and communication.
- User-friendly interface: The platform has an easy-to-use interface.
- Beginner-friendly onboarding: Teachery has a helpful onboarding process for new users.
- Affordable pricing: Teachery’s monthly and annual plans are relatively cheap.
- Templates for different page types: It has payment, email opt-in, and custom course page templates.
- Zero transaction fees!
- Limited features for advanced users: Teachery may have only some advanced features experienced course creators need.
- No content hosting: Users must host their videos, audio, and presentations and embed them in the course.
- Limited email service integrations: Teachery only directly integrates with MailChimp and ConvertKit.
- No quizzes, surveys, or certificates: Teachery does not offer features like quizzes, surveys, and course completion certificates.
- Monthly Plan: $49
- Yearly Plan: $470
Udemy is the largest online course marketplace. This platform allows you to design courses to share your expertise, reach a global audience, and make passive income.
However, I have personally seen many courses being easily stolen from that platform, and the earnings aren’t that good compared to what you can generate with other platforms.
Best For Individual course creators
Price Free to create and host a course
Annual Discount N/A
Promotion Discounted annual subscription
Udemy offers business, technology, and personal development classes by experts and professionals. With an enrollment of over 57 million students, it’s perfect for expanding your professional network.
- Wide range of courses: Udemy features subjects like business, technology, design, and personal development.
- Flexible learning: Udemy’s courses are self-paced.
- Mobile app: Udemy has a mobile app that allows learners to access their courses on the go, making it easy to learn anytime, anywhere.
- Completion certificates: Upon completing a course, learners receive a certificate they can add to their resume or LinkedIn profile.
- Money-back guarantee: Udemy offers a 30-day guarantee to learners for its courses.
- There’s no fee to be an instructor. There’s also no approval to get started, and Udemy’s revenue-sharing model pays instructors.
- Instructors can teach a course on any topic. There is, however, a restricted topics list.
- Instructors keep all rights to their content. Udemy only serves as a marketplace to host and advertise the course to its users.
- No accreditation: Employers or educational institutions may not recognize Udemy’s courses as equal to traditional in-person ones.
- Limited support: Udemy does not offer phone or live chat support.
- No instructor interaction: Udemy courses are self-paced, meaning learners may not interact with instructors live.
You can publish as many courses as you wish on Udemy without paying a fee. Udemy pays instructors according to a revenue share model.
Are you looking to build and grow a community around your passion or business? Mighty Networks lets you connect with your members and share knowledge.
Best For Creators, businesses, and communities
Price Starting at $39/mo
Annual Discount 15-16% off for yearly plans
Promotion 2 months free with annual purchase,
Mighty Networks lets creators, businesses, and communities build branded spaces for members, courses, events, and more. It’s a robust tool for establishing a committed or engaged group.
- Customizable spaces: Customize the look and feel of your space, add pages and sections, and control access and permissions for your members.
- Courses and events: Manage the enrollment and payment process, and use the built-in calendar and scheduling tools to keep your members updated.
- Community features: Engage and collaborate with your members through forums, groups, polls, and announcements.
- Mobile app: The app is available for iOS and Android devices.
- Integration with other tools: The platform integrates with email marketing tools, payment gateways, and social media sites.
- Wide range of content creation tools: Mighty Networks allows you to create and share various types of content within your space, including short posts, articles, polls, and events.
- Online course creation: Mighty Networks provide tools for creating and selling online courses within your area.
- Sub-groups: Helpful in organizing your members and allowing them to connect with others with similar interests.
- Clean and modern design: The platform has a visually appealing and user-friendly interface that can help make your space feel professional and welcoming.
- Slack integration: Mighty Networks integrates with Slack, a popular team communication tool.
- Limited video hosting options: Mighty Networks does not offer regular or live video hosting, which can be a limitation if you wish to use video as a primary form of content.
- Basic course builder: The course builder does not offer features such as quizzes and certificates, which may be necessary for some educators or trainers.
- Limited landing page design options: Mighty Networks’ limited design options make it challenging to create a custom, visually appealing landing page.
- Transaction fees: Mighty Networks charges a transaction fee on all its pricing tiers, which can be an additional cost for users.
- No single sign-on integration: The platform lacks SSO interaction with other course systems, making it harder for users to access your space.
Mighty Networks has three pricing tiers:
- The Community Plan: $33
- The Business Plan: $99
- Mighty Pro: Contact sales for pricing
LearnDash, an LMS plugin for WordPress, allows you to sell online courses, handle enrollment and payment, and track student progress.
It also offers an option for an entire course site if you prefer to launch your fully-hosted website.
Best For Educators and beginning trainers
Price Starting at $199 for one site
Annual Discount N/A
Promotion Bundle discounts
LearnDash is a WordPress LMS plugin that makes catalog management easy. Users can also quickly add courses and import existing posts and pages into the platform.
- Progress tracking: LearnDash tracks progress via completion monitoring, quizzes, assignments, and a grade book. Users can also give feedback.
- Communications: The built-in messaging and notification system keeps students informed about course changes and deadlines.
- Customizable branding: Customize the look and feel of your course to reflect your brand and meet the needs of your audience.
- Mobile app: LearnDash has a mobile app available for iOS and Android devices.
- Intuitive course builder: LearnDash’s user-friendly drag-and-drop builder makes creating and organizing your course content easy.
- Engaging learning experience: LearnDash provides an excellent front-end learning experience for students, with a visually appealing interface and intuitive navigation.
- Comprehensive video support: It offers detailed support for video content, including options for hosting and streaming video within your course.
- Flexible quiz builder: It allows you to create and customize quizzes and assessments for your course.
- Advanced features: These include drip content, prerequisites, and automation rules via engagement triggers.
- Limited payment options: LearnDash has a limited selection of built-in payment options, which may only be suitable for some users.
- Limited membership options: LearnDash also has limited built-in membership options, which may only meet the needs of some users.
- One site- $199 per year
- Ten sites – $399 per year
- Unlimited – $799 per year
LearnDash Full Site
- Monthly: $29/mo
- Annual: $299/yr
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Do You Know Which Online Course Platform Will Work Best for You?
When choosing the right online course platform, start by determining your goals and needs.
Once you have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, it’s time to do some research.
Look at different platforms and compare their features, such as the quality of content, level of support, and cost.
Read reviews and ask for recommendations from others who have taken online courses.
Another option is to try out a platform with a free trial or demo to see if it meets your needs. If it isn’t meeting your expectations, explore other options.
What Are the Advantages of Using Online Course Platforms?
Here are the main benefits students and professionals can get from these platforms:
- Free online course platforms let you try out several tools and features before deciding on the one that best fits your needs.
- Paid platforms for courses can offer more complete course materials and content.
- Extras like one-on-one mentoring and quick support are also available.
- Some professional circles may regard paid course platforms as a way to earn a qualification or certification.
Both free and paid online course platforms have perks that fit different goals and budgets. Choose a platform that hits the mark regarding your goals and budget when selling courses online.
What Are the Disadvantages of Using Online Course Platforms?
Sure, using online course software to sell courses may sound handy, but it has several drawbacks.
- Free platforms can be unreliable, as they may offer a limited range of services and resources.
- On a free platform, it’s usually not possible to customize your website’s appearance and feel.
- Paid platforms, especially those with analytics or complex marketing tools, can be expensive to set up and manage.
- Your hard work may also be lost if the provider stays out of business or continues offering services.
Before choosing a platform for selling online courses, consider the risks of each.
How Do You Market Your First Online Course?
When marketing an online course, the key is to promote your program both strategically and creatively.
1 – Start by optimizing your website for targeted keywords that reflect the contents of your material.
2 – Build trust by providing honest student reviews and featuring industry experts in the course.
3 – Get feedback from students; this can help you refine messaging and tailor your product offering as needed.
4 – Take advantage of social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook to get the word out.
5 – Remember word-of-mouth marketing; put good energy into providing high-quality experiences.
With these five tips in mind, you should be able to market your online course well and attract students who will help your business grow.
How Do You Ensure That Your Course Is Successful?
Your online course should be well-planned and structured to be successful.
Include a clear structure, goals, exciting and relevant information, and regular tests to keep motivation up.
Consider how you’ll promote your course as well. Use social media, email marketing, and other methods to promote the course.
Always help your students through office hours, Q&A sessions, or other means.
Lastly, gather student feedback to develop and update your course.
The Bottom Line
When choosing the best online course platform, consider your goals, budget, and preferences. Feel free to try a few different platforms to see which works best.
If you want to start a business other than selling courses but need ideas, this guide might help!
Founder of OJ Digital Solutions