9 best online course platforms(Compared)

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Are you comparing the best online course platforms? best online learning platforms?

Whether you’re a creator trying to find a web course platform to sell courses, or a student looking to find out from online courses, you’re within the right place.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare the simplest online course platforms with their pros and cons.

 

best online course platforms

What to Look for in an Online Course Builder Platform? best online course platforms 

 

Following are a couple of things that you simply should search for in a web course builder platform. These things may affect your ability to create better courses and grow your business over time.

 

1. Course building features

Depending on what quite an online course you would like to sell, you’ll have specific features in mind that you’ll need. For instance, you’ll want to offer assignments to students, create quizzes, or offer multiple payment methods.
Different learning management systems (LMS) offer different course creation features. Make sure you review them before you check-in, in order that you don’t need to switch platforms afterward.

 

2. Payment solutions

You may also want to make sure that they offer payment solutions that are affordable for you as a business owner. Some online course builder platforms may charge a percentage of revenue generated from selling each course, and this amount adds up over time.

 

3. Integrations

Integrations assist you to connect your online courses to third-party platforms and marketing automation tools. For instance, you’ll want to attach it together with your email marketing service, social media marketing tool, or your CRM software.
Make sure that your online course platform supports third-party integrations and already has many important ones able to use.

 

4. Flexibility and freedom

Many online course platforms may have their own terms and conditions which will affect your business. For example, they’ll not allow you to sell certain sorts of courses or may have the power to shut down your entire business with no notice.
Some platforms compromise on flexibility for ease of use, which means you have less control over your courses, and you cannot add new customization/features on your own course.

 

5. Ease of use and Support

As a course creator and entrepreneur, you would like to settle on a course builder that’s easy for you to use. It should accompany customizable templates, work together with your own website, and offer good customer support.
You also want to form sure that it’s user-friendly for your students and customers too.
Keeping these criteria in mind, let’s take a glance at the simplest online course platforms on the market today,

 

Best Online Course Platforms to Create and Sell Online Courses

 

We are breaking our guide into two sections. The first six course platforms are for content creators looking to build and sell online courses.

If you’re looking for the best online learning platforms for students, then please click the to jump to that section.

Having that said, here are the best online course platforms for content creators and teachers:

 

1. MemberPress

 

best online course platforms
best online course platforms

MemberPress is that the best WordPress LMS plugin on the market and therefore the easiest method to create online courses.
It runs on top of WordPress, which powers over 39% of all websites on the web.

MemberPress comes with a web courses addon that permits you to simply create, manage, and sell online courses. Their drag and drop course builder is super easy to use.
You also don’t get to worry about design skills. MemberPress includes a virtual classroom functionality that takes care of styling and works with all WordPress themes.

The classroom mode is meant to supply an interactive learning experience on your course website. You can add high-quality video content alongside additional downloadable resources.

The best part is that you simply get access to MemberPress’s powerful content access controls. This allows you to sell unlimited courses with different pricing options and subscription plans.

You can also add digital downloads with access control, so only logged-in students can access them.

MemberPress is that the best WordPress LMS plugin on the market and therefore the easiest method to create online courses.
It runs on top of WordPress, which powers over 39% of all websites on the web.

MemberPress comes with a web courses addon that permits you to simply create, manage, and sell online courses. Their drag and drop course builder is super easy to use.
You also don’t get to worry about design skills. MemberPress includes a virtual classroom functionality that takes care of styling and works with all WordPress themes.
The classroom mode is meant to supply an interactive learning experience on your course website. You can add high-quality video content alongside additional downloadable resources.

The best part is that you simply get access to MemberPress’s powerful content access controls. This allows you to sell unlimited courses with different pricing options and subscription plans.

You can also add digital downloads with access control, so only logged-in students can access them.
MemberPress checkout seamlessly integrates together with your email marketing service, so you’ll add each student to your email list, so you’ll notify them of the latest course upsell or discounts in the future.

You can add a discussion forum using bbPress to spice up engagement, add a referral system or affiliate program using Affiliate Royale to boost sales and create custom sales pages/webinar pages using SeedProd to grow your online course business.
MemberPress checkout seamlessly integrates together with your email marketing service, so you’ll add each student to your email list, so you’ll notify them of the latest course upsell or discounts in the future.

You can add a discussion forum using bbPress to boost engagement, add a referral system or affiliate program using Affiliate Royale to spice up sales, and make custom sales pages/webinar pages using SeedProd to grow your online course business.

 

Pros:

  • MemberPress is extremely easy to use even for beginners. You don’t necessity any coding skills to use it.
  • Visual course builder makes it very easy to make courses for educators.
  • It offers a far better learning experience for college kids with the classroom mode
  • Ability to drip course content, sell group memberships, and every one the powerful membership features.
  • You have the liberty to line your own course prices, charge upfront vs subscription payments, have multiple pricing options for your online school, and more.
  • It supports multiple payment gateways like Stripe and Authorize.net for credit cards and full PayPal support.
  • It doesn’t take a percentage of your course sales like other platforms.
  • MemberPress integrates with all familiar email marketing services like Aweber, and they also have a Zapier integration that lets you connect with over 2000+ apps.
  • Since it’s a WordPress plugin, you have the flexibility to customize your website design, add new features, and more without any restrictions.

 

Cons:

  • You’ll get to manage a WordPress site that suggests installing updates and managing backups.
  • If you haven’t used WordPress before, then there could be a small learning curve as you familiarize yourself with it. Most beginners quickly overcome this phase quite easily.

Pricing: Starts from $149 per year for a single site license (no monthly fee).

 

How to Get Started with MemberPress:

To build and sell courses with MemberPress, you will need to create a WordPress website.

We have created a complete step by step on how to create a membership site in WordPress with MemberPress.

2. LearnDash

 

best online course platforms
best online course platforms

 

 

LearnDash is another popular WordPress LMS plugin and online course builder. It Permits you to easily sell online courses using WordPress.
LearnDash comes with an intuitive drag and drops course builder that allows you to create any type of course, add interactive video lessons, quizzes, assignments, and more.
You can give all course contents right-way, or use the drip content feature to release content as users move along a course. It is super easy to use and provides you tons of tools you’d want to ascertain in an LMS platform.
It integrates with all popular payment services, WordPress eCommerce plugins, bbPress, and more. It even works with MemberPress permitting you to let MemberPress manage subscriptions and LearnDash handle the course management.
You can make sales funnels for your courses by using the SeedProd landing page builder and add gamification by using any of the WordPress gamification plugins.
If you’re looking to make SCORM or TinCan content, then you’ll need the UncannyOwl Toolkit with the all-access pass. They permit you to add many powerful features to LearnDash.

 

Pros:

  • Full-fledged WordPress LMS plugin with quizzes, lectures, assignments, certificates, and more.
  • Easy to use with a visible course builder that permits you to make interactive online courses.
  • Integrations allow you to feature third-party tools you’ll get to promote your online course.
  • It doesn’t take a percentage of your course sales like other platforms.

Cons:

  • Content access controls aren’t as powerful as MemberPress.
  • Less management on creating multiple subscriptions with different access controls.
  • Runs on WordPress, so you’ll get to manage your own site, which is pretty easy for many beginners.

Pricing: Starting from $159 for a single site license.

 

How to Get Started with LearnDash:

To build and sell courses with LearnDash, you’ll get to create a WordPress website.
To get started, you’ll need your own name and . The domain name is your website’s address on the internet such as wehavedigitaltool.com, and is where your website files are stored.
We recommend using Bluehost. They are offering WPBeginner users a generous 60% discount on hosting, a free domain name, and a free SSL certificate. Basically, you’ll start for $2.75 per month.

 

 Click here to Claim this Exclusive Bluehost Deal

After your website is set up, you’ll need to install the LearnDash plugin and continue creating your courses.

 

3. Teachable

 

best online course platforms
best online course platforms

 

Teachable may be a hosted all-in-one platform that permits you to simply create courses and sell them without managing any software or installing updates.
You can use Teachable on your own custom name or add it as a subdomain to your existing website.

It is super easy to use and allows you a simple drag and drop platform to form courses, upload content, and publish it. It also includes marketing and analytics to assist promote your course.

Teachable also takes care of payments for you and offers your customers multiple ways to pay. You can also use its highly optimized sales to make landing pages for your courses.

 

Pros:

  • Incredibly easy to use.
  • You don’t get to manage any software installation, updates, or backups.
  • You also don’t need to worry about scaling resources as your business grows.
  • Powerful integrations Permit you to use third-party tools for marketing and growth.

 

Cons:

  • Teachable is more expensive than MemberPress or LearnDash.
  • It also charges a 5% transaction fee on each transaction if you are on the basic plan.

Pricing Starting from $29 per month for a basic plan with a 5% transaction fee. You can upgrade to the Pro plan which has no transaction fees but costs $99 per month.

 

4. Thinkific

 

best online course platforms
best online course platforms

 

Thinkific is another fully-hosted online course platform similar to Teachable.

It comes with an intuitive drag and drops visual course builder that lets you make highly interactive courses. You can upload any content to your course including videos.

Thinkific supports all features you can expect from an LMS plugin. Plus, you can create different multiple subscription programs, create landing pages, and make a membership community.

 

Pros:

  • Thinkific is extremely easy to use for all users
  • It is fully hosted which suggests you don’t get to worry about software, backup, and other technical aspects.
  • You can grow your business without fear about scaling the platform

Cons:

  • It is more expansive than WordPress powered LMS platform like MemberPress
  • The free plan is quite limited in features

Pricing: Limited free plan that allows you to offer up to three courses. Paid plans start at $39 per month.

 

5. LifterLMS

 

 LifterLMS best online course platforms
best online course platforms

 

LifterLMS may be a popular WordPress LMS plugin that you simply can use to make and see courses online.

LifterLMS may be a powerful platform and comes with tools that assist you in easily create online courses. It also offers a far better learning experience for your users which is vital to create a community around your website.

It is flexible enough to set up a small online coaching website or a full-fledged degree program. It supports multi-tier courses, where you’ll add training modules, lessons, categories, and more.

It has advanced features like drip content, course progression requirements, group memberships, and more.

 

Pros:

  • A powerful platform to create highly engaging online learning communities.
  • Easy to use with a simple course builder that helps you add any type of course material.
  • Integrations for third-party services to help you promote and grow.

Cons:

  • You need to manage your WordPress website and install updates
  • Cost may increase if you select to shop for individual addons

Pricing: Starting from $99 per year for a single site. You’ll need to purchase addons separately and pricing for add-ons typically starts at $99 per year.

 

How to Get Started with LifterLMS:

You’ll need to purchase a domain name and to set up your WordPress site.

You can use BluehostChemiCloud, or any other recommended WordPress hosting provider.

 

6. WooCommerce

 

best online course platforms
best online course platforms

WooCommerce is that the hottest eCommerce platform in the world. It is incredibly easy and versatile which makes it an honest base to create your online course.
For selling and managing online courses with WooCommerce, you’ll need their Sensei LMS extension.

Sensei LMS is a simple and straightforward LMS add-on that allows you to create courses, add modules, lessons, and quizzes.
It is easy to use, and you can quickly set up a course website using the WooCommerce storefront theme.

If you would like to make custom sales pages, then you’ll use SeedProd page builder. For real-time analytics, you’ll use the MonsterInsights analytics plugin.

 

Pros:

  • Simple and straightforward LMS plugin
  • Runs on top of WooCommerce which allows you to sell other physical or digital products on the same site.
  • You can use essential WordPress plugins to extend your website and grow your business.

Cons:

  • Requires paid addons to create paid courses and subscription programs
  • Lacks some of the advanced LMS plugin features.
  • You’ll have to manage your WooCommerce store and install updates

Pricing: Sensei LMS itself is free, but you’ll need WooCommerce Paid Subscriptions add-on to create paid courses which costs $129 per year.

Best Online Course Platforms for Students

 

Whether you’re a student or an aspiring professional, acquiring new skills and continue improving on them can open many doors of opportunities in the modern economy.

There are a ton of online learning platforms for students that you can join to acquire a new skill or to follow your passion.

 

7. LinkedIn Learning

 

best online course platforms

 

LinkedIn Learning (formerly, Lynda) may be a popular platform to find out digital, creative, and other professional skills. They an outsized sort of subjects and classes for all levels of users (not just beginners).

LinkedIn Learning’s courses are taught by professionals with real-world experience and qualifications in their field.

You can learn at your own pace using their online teaching platform, or their iOS / Android app.

You also get to earn certificates upon completion of a course which you’ll then display as a badge on your LinkedIn profile.

Pros:

Higher quality courses taught by professionals with relevant background
Badges and certificates that you simply can boast on your LinkedIn profile
You also get access to LinkedIn Premium with more salary and job insights, unlimited profile viewing, InMail credits, and more.

Cons:

More expansive than other online learning and skill-sharing platforms.
LinkedIn doesn’t offer refunds, so you better cash in of their free trial before making a sale.

Pricing: Free trial, but pricing starts at $29.99 per month.

 

8. Skillshare

 

best online course platforms

Skillshare is one of the largest online course platforms for students offering hundreds of courses on a wide variety of subjects and categories.

It has a limited free trial, after that, you can upgrade to premium which gives you access to thousands of premium online courses that you can join.

Courses are created by professionals and teachers, not by Skillshare itself. Teachers are paid for these courses by views. This acts as an incentive for teachers to offer better quality and highly engaging courses.

Pros:

  • It is affordable and you can cancel anytime.
  • Thousands of classes on a very large number of skills and topics
  • Easy to use with a built-in community element that makes learning fun

Cons:

  • With too many courses it can be difficult to decide where to begin.
  • Skillshare courses can be taught by anyone and there are not too many checks on the quality or standardization of the courses.

Pricing: Skillshare Premium starts from $3.29 per month paid annually.

 

9. Coursera

 

best online course platforms

 

Coursera is another good place to learn new skills.

They offer a variety of free and paid courses and even online degree programs. They have partnered with technology companies like Google and IBM who want to promote the usage of their technologies by offering free courses.

In addition, Coursera also collaborates with colleges offering online degree programs. The courses offered are prepared by professionals with qualifications and skills in the subject matter.

Pros:

  • Some useful technical courses for beginners are available for free enrollment
  • Easy to use platform with a relatively better quality control than similar platforms
  • Access to course materials from top IT companies and colleges
  • Takes a more academic approach to courses.

Cons:

  • Upselling of degree programs offered by colleges

Pricing Varies based on the courses or programs you choose to enroll.

 

Which is the Best Online Course Platform (Expert Pick)

 

After evaluating all the favored online course platforms, we recommend MemberPress because the best online course platform to create and sell online courses.

If you’re a student trying to find the simplest online learning platform to expand your skills, then LinkedIn Learning and Skillshare are the simplest online learning platforms for college kids.

We hope this text helped you select the simplest online course platforms. If you’re selling your own online courses, then you’ll want to ascertain our guide on the way to grow your business online without spending a fortune.

 

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Disclaimer: to help avoid choice paralysis, we only compared the top online course platforms. This list doesn’t include other e-learning platforms or course marketplace like Udemy, Kajabi, Podia, LearnWorlds, WizIQ, iSpring, Academy of Mine, etc.

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