Best Online Course Platforms (Aug. 2018)

The e-learning and online course market is soaring to new heights. We have researched and ranked the best online course platforms to start your online business. To choose the best online course platform, you need to understand your needs and take a deep dive into their features. These online course platform reviews are based on pricing, reliability, features, marketing tools, support, and more.


#1 Teachable: Best overalL platform (Free or $39/mo)

Create a beautiful Online course for free in minutes

Teachable is my #1 choice for an online course platform. By creating an account, you're joining 22,000 other instructors creating excellent video content for their students. You can choose to use the platform for free (with $1 + $0.10 for all transactions) or choose their $39/month plan. It's very easy to upload your content, edit the look of your online school, and engage with your students. It comes with my highest recommendation.

Read the full Teachable review...

#2 THINKIFIC: BEST Online course platform for businesses (Free or $49/mo)

A full-featured solution for your online course

Thinkific's mission is to make it easy to teach online, and they do a great job of that. They have a powerful set of features, email marketing tools, and excellent 24/7 customer support. On the free plan, they charge 10% transaction fees, and the tool is slightly more expensive for their basic plan. I recommend Thinkific for larger businesses looking to create courses for their employees or other sizable audiences.

Read the full Thinkific review...

#3 Kajabi: Best High-End Online Course Platform ($103/mo)

a complete presence with hosting, themes and blogging

Kajabi is a high-powered online course builder for in-depth courses. It features powerful site themes, robust email marketing automation, upsells and a customizable checkout, and blogging functionality. Their plans are a bit expensive, starting at $103/month including the 20% annual discount. However, if you are an established business or want to take the plunge into the most advanced online course platform on the market, Kajabi is your clear choice.

Read the full Kajabi review...

#4 Podia: Best for Digital Downloads ($39/mo)

Sell online courses, memberships, and digital downloads

Podia allows over 11,000 users to create, host, and sell digital product with one easy-to-use platform. There are zero transaction fees and a simple three-step process has your website up in no time. Other features include the ability to add coupons and memberships, pre-launch courses, and "drip" courses where users can only access certain sections of the course at a time. Overall, it's a unique and worthwhile course builder worth checking out. 

Read the full Podia review...

What is an Online Course Platform?

Online course platforms are specific types of learning management systems that provide users with access to open online courses. These courses are similar to offline courses in many ways - an instructor provides an engaging educational experience through video, image, text, audio and PDF files. Students can follow along with the video series, take notes, perform exercises, and take exams to test their knowledge.

Online course platforms like Teachable, Thinkific, Kajabi, and Podia all feature a robust set of features for course creators. These include a dedicated fully-responsive website experience, easy content uploads, editing the look and feel of the course, email marketing, course completion certificates and more. Course creators choose a course platform to use, then charge their students a set fee to access their course. It is a fast growing online business category with a low cost to get started.

How do I Choose the Right Online Course Platform?

Many course creators struggle to choose the right course software because they aren’t sure what features to look for. There are a number of different options that can make or break the success of your online course, so choosing the right platform is very important. Here are some of the top things to consider when choosing an online course platform for your business:

  1. You should have complete control over your brand. You should be able to set your own pricing and policies, incorporate your logo, and make the experience consistent with your business.
  2. The platform should deliver a great learning experience. You should include multiple content types like video, audio, text, documents, and more. Other features to look for include the ability to create quizzes and send completion certificates, a forum where students can engage with each other, and “drip” courses, which are sent out to students over time.
  3. Choose a course platform that integrates well with other solutions. You’re going to want to make sure your online course can work with other tools like email marketing services, analytics solutions and more. Check for popular integrations with tools like Mailchimp, Google Analytics, etc.
  4. The online course platform should fit your budget and offer flexible pricing options.
  5. The platform should offer excellent customer support and training. Many services offer free resources and training, a dedicated account manager, and a helpful instructor community that can help you succeed.
  6. Choose a well-developed platform with integrated LMS, ecommerce, and membership capabilities. To be successful selling online courses, you need to be able to create, organize and deliver your course content, create members-only areas for your students, and sell your courses and accept payments all in one place.

Online Course Platform Comparisons (Aug. 2018)

Content coming soon.