With the rocketing fame and constant developments of online course platforms, creating online courses, delivering them to students, and accepting payments for your efforts have never been easier.
There are many platforms that you can choose from, with some being more comprehensive or more cost-effective than others.
So, regardless of your needs, you’re guaranteed to find a suitable online course platform.
To help you choose the perfect one for you, we’ll talk about the best online course platforms available today, covering everything from their features to their pricing.
- An Overview of the Best Online Course Platforms
- The 9 Best Platforms to Create and Sell Online Courses
- 1. Thinkific – Best Overall
- 2. Kajabi – Best All-in-One
- 3. LearnWorlds – Best Interactive Learning Experience
- 4. Teachable – Best for Beginners
- 5. Podia – Best for Memberships
- 6. Mighty Networks – Best for Community Building
- 7. LearnDash – Best LMS Plugin for WordPress Users
- 8. Academy of Mine – Best for Big Enterprises
- 9. Ruzuku – Easiest to Use
- 10. Skill Success – Another Great Option
- Factors to Consider When Choosing an Online Course Platform
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping Up
An Overview of the Best Online Course Platforms
- Thinkific – Best Overall
- Kajabi – Best All-in-One
- LearnWorlds – Best Interactive Learning Experience
- Teachable – Best for Beginners
- Podia – Best for Memberships
- Mighty Networks – Best for Community Building
- LearnDash – Best LMS Plugin for WordPress Users
- Academy of Mine – Best for Big Enterprises
- Ruzuku – Easiest to Use
- Skill Success – Another great option
The 9 Best Platforms to Create and Sell Online Courses
From enabling you to build attractive landing pages and to custom-price your online courses to providing membership communities and hosting live webinars, online platforms can do a lot for you and your students.
The great point about these platforms is that they grant you complete control over your online business, which isn’t always the case if you were to sell online courses on an online course marketplace like Udemy or Skillshare.
With that in mind, here are the 9 best online learning platforms in 2023.
1. Thinkific – Best Overall
Thinkific holds the title of the best online course platform on our list, and for all the good reasons.
It strikes the perfect balance between ease of use, feature-richness, and affordability.
Unlike many competitor platforms, like Kajabai and Podia, Thinkific isn’t an all-in-one platform.
Instead, it’s dedicated solely to helping you develop and sell online courses.
This online platform is as beginner-friendly as possible, which makes it widely accessible.
You don’t need to have a background in coding or any sort of technical knowledge to navigate through Thinkific.
Also, it’s one of the best options when it comes to customizing courses, which is ideal because it helps you match the look and feel of your courses to the brand image you want to display.
To use this online platform, all you’ll have to do is choose a template, create the content of your online course, and publish the course’s website.
Luckily, you won’t have to resort to a third-party platform to build or host your site.
On top of that, Thinkific has an intuitive site builder that relies on a drag-and-drop system.
You’ll be using it to build and customize your entire site, from its home and landing pages to everything in between.
Regarding course creation, Thinkific has a drag-and-drop course builder that you can use to develop your courses without breaking a sweat and without any web development or coding knowledge.
One of the bonus points about using this platform is that it enables you to create and host different communities around your courses.
This is an ideal point for student interactions and topic discussions.
Another point we love about Thinkific is that you can choose how you deliver your courses.
For instance, you can drip them out or set up a schedule for your curriculum in the form of classes.
Lastly, Thinkific enables you to record live lessons, workshops, webinars, Q&A sessions, and more.
And if that’s not enough for your students, you can choose from several assessment options, including quizzes, exams, and assignments.
Pricing-wise, Thinkific has 3 different plans that you can subscribe to monthly or annually (save 25%):
- The Free plan ($0/month)
- The Start plan ($74/month)
- The Grow plan ($149/month)
- The Expand plan ($374/month)
Why We Like Thinkific:
- Pre-designed templates and themes
- Drag-and-drop website and course builders
- Creates and hosts course communities
- All paid plans come with a custom domain
- Every aspect is easily customizable
- Integrates with other tools and platforms
- Provides student data analytics and assessment
2. Kajabi – Best All-in-One
If you’re a professional tutor looking for an online course platform that offers more than the core features needed to create and sell courses, Kajabi is your best bet.
Not only does it enable you to build your course’s site, host a wide range of content, and deliver your courses to students, but it also enables you to build marketing funnels with its Pipelines feature.
The great thing about Kajabi’s marketing and lead generation features is that they come with pre-written copy that’s well-optimized for conversions and can be used immediately.
Moreover, the online course platform excels in email marketing automation, which you can use to drip content, send emails, and so forth.
Another feature that sets Kajabi apart is that it allows you to sell digital products.
Not only that, but it also gives you the ability to blog on your course website.
So, you’ll be able to drive SEO traffic to your online course by publishing blog posts.
On top of that, Kajabi offers an excellent user experience.
It’s super intuitive, so you’ll be able to navigate your way around its numerous features easily, even if it’s your first time using it.
Regarding pricing, Kajabi is one of the most pricey options on the list.
It offers 3 pricing plans that only differ in the number of courses and active members.
Note that you get 20% off if you choose to be billed annually rather than monthly.
Kajabi’s pricing plans are as follows:
- The Basic plan($149/m)
- The Growth plan ($199/m)
- The Pro plan ($399/m)
Why We Like Kajabi:
- Built-in Customer Relation Management system (CRM)
- The Pipelines feature creates full-fledged marketing funnels
- Deep course insights that help you assess your students
- Blogging functionality for increased SEO traffic
- Unlimited hosting for all of your courses and marketing content
- Website builder for easy, code-free website creation
- Professionally designed templates with easy customization
3. LearnWorlds – Best Interactive Learning Experience
If you value teacher-to-student interaction and are looking for an online courses platform that delivers just that, there’s no beating LearnWorlds.
This platform focuses on engagement and interactiveness as no other platform does.
It offers numerous features, from an interactive video player and ebook reader to gamification features.
Another strong selling point is the platform’s customization options.
You can edit any of the pre-designed templates so that they match the brand image you’re looking to display.
You can also optimize your courses for search engines, as the platform is geared toward SEO.
With that in mind, your courses will be easily seen in the SERPs and will garner unique visitors.
LearnWorlds has an excellent page builder that enables you to create visually appealing pages for your website, from landing pages to sales pages.
On top of that, you get to use several e-commerce features such as coupon codes, payment processing, subscription plans, and more.
It’s worth noting that LearnWorlds is SCORM-compliant, meaning you have complete freedom when it comes to switching between platforms.
This is a feature that not a lot of online teaching platforms have.
Another neat feature the platform offers is the ability to build a white-label smartphone app for Android and iOS, with push notifications and in-app purchases.
As for pricing, LearnWorlds has 4 different packages that can be billed monthly or annually (save 20%):
- The Starter package ($29/m)
- The Pro Trainer package ($99/m)
- The Learning Center package ($299/m)
- The High Volume & Corporate package (custom)
Why We Like LearnWorlds:
- In-depth analytics and thorough student progress tracking
- Powerful website builder with lots of templates and widgets
- Mobile app builder that can create custom white-label apps
- Plenty of sales and marketing tools for garnering more sales
- Onboard video hosting, so there’s no need to upload elsewhere
- Customizable course player for flexible and interactive learning
4. Teachable – Best for Beginners
Teachable is another popular online course-creation platform that’s perfect for both beginners and professionals.
Like Kajabi, it’s an all-in-one platform that offers everything you need to create and launch your course, as well as market it and drive more sales.
Apart from ease of use, Teachable is ideal for beginners because it’s one of the most affordable options out there.
However, don’t let its budget-friendly price trick you into thinking it’s a low-quality platform.
In fact, it’s as excellent as its competitors in many ways.
For starters, Teachable’s user experience is incredible.
Everything is well-structured, making it easy for you to follow along and complete the objective you have in mind.
It’s also highly customizable, so you won’t be stuck with the pre-designed themes, which are already pretty neat and visually appealing.
Teachable features an intuitive drag-and-drop builder that you can use to create courses, sales pages, landing pages, checkout pages, and a lot more in no time.
On top of that, the platform is compatible with a wide range of integrations, including Google Analytics, Zapier, and MailChimp.
What’s more, it offers affiliate marketing and email marketing tools.
Teachable has 4 payment plans that you can subscribe to, each of which can be billed monthly or annually (save 25%):
- The Free plan ($0/m)
- The Basic plan ($39/m)
- The Pro plan ($119/m)
- The Business plan ($299/m)
Why We Like Teachable:
- Intuitive drag-and-drop builder for easy course creation
- Many marketing and sales tools, including upsells and order bumps
- Compatible with a wide range of integrations
- Uses PCI level-1 payment providers for data security
- Many student engagement features, including quizzes and certificates
- Allows you to schedule and host webinars, as well as go live with students
- You can use your own domain or use Teachable’s built-in domain
5. Podia – Best for Memberships
Our fifth entry is another all-in-one online courses platform that has so much to offer when it comes to membership options and creating an online community built around your courses.
With Podia, you can interact with students, offer tiered plans, provide different bundles for different groups, and connect with other platforms like Slack and Facebook.
Another point that sets this platform apart is that it allows you to run your own affiliate marketing program with your commission system.
You’ll be able to see all of your affiliates in the interface, along with insightful reports.
We also like the fact that Podia offers unlimited video hosting.
So, you won’t have to upload your videos onto a third-party platform like Vimeo or YouTube and then embed them.
With this course platform, you can sell your content as standalone courses, or you can drip it.
Dripping your courses involves delivering them one piece at a time.
This helps boost engagement and bring more traffic.
Podia also has a bundling feature that allows you to bundle a bunch of courses together with other products so that you can sell them as a single package.
One of the best points about Podia is that it enables you to pre-sell courses before they’re made.
This is huge because it builds momentum and garners sales before the launch date.
In terms of pricing, there are 4 pricing plans that you can choose from, and note that if you choose annual billing, you’ll be saving 17% on any of the plans:
- The Free plan ($0/m)
- The Mover plan ($39/m)
- The Shaker plan ($89/m)
- The Earthquaker plan ($199/m)
Why We Like Podia:
- Courses can be dripped or sold as full standalone courses
- Features email marketing and social media integrations
- No transaction fees whatsoever, so you keep all of your profit
- Allows you to pre-sell your courses before the launch day
- You get to enjoy unlimited courses, students, and sales
- Flexible payments options via PayPal, Stripe, and more
- A reliable chat support system that’s available all week long
6. Mighty Networks – Best for Community Building
As the name suggests, Mighty Networks is all about networking and building a strong online community around your courses.
You can use it for more than that, though. You can use it to power a blog or podcast, for example.
Mighty Networks is as user-friendly as can be, with its simple and intuitive desktop and mobile interface.
It’s easy to navigate even if you’re new to online course platforms.
The platform features a powerful native course builder that allows you to develop your courses easily.
After creating them, you can sell them as standalone courses or charge a recurring membership subscription.
Also, Mighty Networks is equipped with many community-building features, including member profiles, live streaming, direct messaging, e-meetings, and more.
Moreover, the platform has a personalization feature known as the Mighty Effect.
This feature allows you to personalize your content for different members of your course community.
And as a bonus point, there’s no limit on the number of members.
Lastly, the platform has its own affiliate program—the Mighty Networks Ambassador program—that you can use.
Mighty Networks has 2 main plans that you can choose from:
- The Community plan ($39/m)
- The Business plan ($119/m)
You can opt for a monthly or annual subscription, with the latter option offering 2 months for free and a reduced overall cost.
There’s also the Mighty Pro plan, which is geared toward creating branded mobile apps.
Why We Like Mighty Networks:
- The Mighty Effect feature allows you to personalize your content for each member
- Unlimited number of members so that your community can keep growing
- You can use custom domains and landing pages for better branding
- Members of your course can create their own profiles, similar to social networks
- Detailed analytics dashboard that reveals valuable insights and benchmarks
- Not only does this platform host your videos, but it also allows for live streaming
- Has onboarding sections that make it easy for your members to get started
7. LearnDash – Best LMS Plugin for WordPress Users
LearnDash isn’t exactly a full-blown platform like the rest of its competitors; instead, it’s an LMS (Learning Management Systems) plugin for WordPress.
And as you’ve probably guessed, you need a WordPress site to start selling online courses with LearnDash.
One point that makes LeanDash trustworthy for potential customers is that the University of Michigan uses it.
Not only that, but famous websites like WP Elevation and Yoast use it too.
Despite being a WordPress plugin, LearnDash has a range of unique features that help set it apart from online learning platforms, including Focus Mode and Gradebook.
Focus Mode, as the name suggests, is a mode that eliminates distractions when activated.
This ensures an enhanced student experience.
Gradebook provides you, as the teacher, with an overview of the grades your students got based on their homework and quiz scores.
This way, it makes it easier for you to track their performances.
While many people think that LearnDash is less powerful than its competitors in building courses because of being a plugin, they couldn’t be more wrong.
In fact, it has a feature-rich and excellent course builder that enables you to build courses on your WordPress site.
This online course software also has an email drip campaign feature that allows you to create a schedule for your lessons and deliver them to students accordingly.
Pricing-wise, the LearnDash plugin doesn’t have any packages that vary in features.
Instead, it has 3 pricing options that vary based on the number of sites you have:
- $199/year for 1 website
- $399/year for 10 websites
- $799/year for unlimited websites
Note that this online course software doesn’t offer monthly billing except for LearnDash Cloud ($29/m), which is a new service that helps you build a dedicated WordPress site for your online course.
As a bonus point, there’s a 15-day money-back guarantee with LearnDash, so you get to test-drive the plugin before committing to any of its pricing options.
Why We Like LearnDash:
- Focus Mode enhances the student’s experience by eliminating distractions
- Gradebook technology grades students based on homework and quizzes
- Email drip campaign feature for scheduling future lessons
- Feature-rich course builder that’ll get you up and running in no time
- Offers a 15-day money-back guarantee so that you can try before you buy
- Can build a WordPress website for you
- One of the most trusted and affordable learning management system plugins
8. Academy of Mine – Best for Big Enterprises
When it comes to personalization and customization options, Academy of Mine is one of the best platforms you can go with.
It’s a full-fledged learning management system that can accommodate many niches.
Teachers aren’t the only ones that can use the Academy of Mine to create and deliver courses to students; businesses and companies can also use it to provide courses and training to keep their facilities up to date.
Not only can you build and personalize your courses with this course platform, but you can also use its marketing tools and analytics to market your courses and drive more sales.
As it’s a high-end platform with many enterprise offerings, the average teacher might find it a bit overwhelming.
However, it’s perfect for companies, businesses, and large teams of teachers within large institutes.
With Academy of Mine’s straightforward interface and user-friendly experience, you’ll be up and running with your courses in no time.
You’ll have a custom domain, and you’ll get to enjoy integrated e-commerce features.
In terms of pricing, Academy of Mine is one of the priciest options on the list.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering it’s geared toward large enterprises.
The platform has 3 pricing plans that offer different features (billed monthly):
- The Essentials plan ($599/m)
- The Professional plan ($999/m)
- The Enterprise plan (custom)
As a bonus point, you can request a free trial for any of Academy of Mine’s plans so that you try them before purchasing.
Why We Like Academy of Mine:
- Custom domain and a flexible, easy-to-use webpage builder
- Integrated e-commerce features with in-depth reporting
- Provides translation in languages other than English
- Wide range of integrations, including CRM and Google Analytics
- Assignments, evaluations, and surveys for student assessment
- You can request a free trial with any of this platform’s plans
- The platform is compliant with SCORM 2004 and SCORM 1.2
9. Ruzuku – Easiest to Use
While it might not be as well-known as some of the other online course platforms on the list, Ruzuku is probably the easiest to use out of the bunch.
With Ruzuku, you can create and launch courses, as well as generate sales, without having to go through a steep learning curve.
It’s as straightforward as can be, which makes it ideal for beginners.
Ruzuku features a myriad of integrations, including Stripe, MailChimp, and Infusionsoft.
So, you’ll be able to play around with the platform’s functionality based on your needs.
Another point worth noting is that the platform doesn’t charge you any transaction fees, which means that you get to keep all of the profit generated from your course sales.
What we love most about Ruzuku is that all of its paid plans grant you unlimited courses, unlimited students, unlimited audio and video, and unlimited data storage.
Speaking of paid plans, here are Ruzuku’s pricing plans (billed annually or monthly):
- The Free plan ($0/m)
- The Core plan ($99/m)
- The Pro plan ($199/m)
The cherry on top is that Ruzuko offers a 14-day free trial, as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee.
So, you’ll have plenty of time to try the platform before committing to any of its packages.
Why We Like Ruzuku:
- Easy to use with its simple interface and straightforward functionalities
- All pricing plans give you unlimited courses, students, and storage
- Integrates with a wide range of services, including MailChimp and Stripe
- Zero transaction fees, so you get to keep all of the profit from your sales
- You get to enjoy a 14-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee
- Live meetings, online community, video conferences, and video hosting
- The highest tier offers premium branding, custom domains, and multiple accounts
10. Skill Success – Another Great Option
Skill Success is best known for several outstanding features that set it apart as a leading online learning platform.
Skill Success is a renowned online learning platform that empowers individuals to unlock their full potential and achieve their personal and professional goals.
With a commitment to excellence, Skill Success has established itself as a leading platform in the e-learning industry, offering a wide range of subjects and a vast library of over 3,000 high-quality courses taught by industry experts.
The platform’s extensive library covers a diverse array of subjects, ranging from business and technology to personal development and creative skills.
Skill Success ensures that learners have access to valuable insights and practical knowledge, thanks to its dedication to providing high-quality content taught by industry experts.
By delivering courses that meet the highest standards, Skill Success equips individuals with the tools they need to succeed.
One of Skill Success’ key strengths lies in its flexibility and convenience.
Learners have the freedom to access courses at their own pace, enabling them to fit their education around their busy schedules.
Furthermore, Skill Success ensures that courses can be accessed from any device with an internet connection, making learning accessible anytime, anywhere.
Skill Success understands the importance of affordability and strives to provide cost-effective subscription options.
By offering accessible pricing plans, the platform ensures that individuals from all walks of life can access valuable educational resources without breaking the bank.
Skill Success takes pride in its user-friendly interface, making navigation and course selection a seamless and enjoyable experience.
Whether you’re looking to enhance your career prospects, explore new hobbies, or simply expand your knowledge, Skill Success is the go-to destination.
With its extensive course catalog, commitment to excellence, flexibility, and affordable pricing, Skill Success empowers learners to acquire valuable skills and stay ahead in today’s dynamic world.
Skill Success has 2 payment plans.
- The Basic plan ($15/m)
- The All Access Pass plan ($150/year)
Why We Like Skill Success:
- Skill Success stands out for its exceptional accessibility menu, designed to cater to all users
- Its user-friendly interface ensures a seamless learning experience for everyone.
- Their convenient video on demand feature allows you to access all courses while on the go, ensuring uninterrupted learning at your convenience
- They offer a generous 10-day money-back guarantee, providing you with a full refund if the courses fail to meet your learning needs
- This commitment ensures a risk-free learning experience for all users
- Available on any device with internet
- You get to enjoy unlimited courses with their All Access pass
- Skill Success values your success and provides round-the-clock support
- Their dedicated support team is available 24/7 to assist you with any queries, ensuring a smooth learning journey and prompt resolution of any issues you may encounter.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Online Course Platform
As you can see, there’s plenty of fish in the sea when it comes to online course platforms.
So, how do you go about choosing one?
To find the best online course platform for your needs, consider the following factors:
1. Platform Type
Are you looking for a standalone platform that’s only concerned with course creation and sales management?
Or are you looking for an all-in-one platform that offers marketing and growth tools?
If you already have a website with a sales funnel strategy in mind, you should go with a standalone platform.
On the other hand, if you want to do everything under one roof, an all-in-one service provider is the way to go.
2. Student Engagement
Engagement is a huge aspect of providing an enjoyable learning experience for your students.
If they aren’t engaged, they won’t be compelled to finish your course or purchase another one of yours.
On that account, you need to opt for a platform that offers engagement features such as video content, audio content, PDFs, activity tracking, student assessment and certification, and mobile-friendliness.
3. Community Building
Building an active community around your online course helps your students interact with each other as well as keeps them engaged.
On top of that, it gives them a place where they can ask questions and receive answers.
Plenty of online course platforms offer community-building features, along with a bunch of complementary features such as live streaming and conferences.
However, some platforms lack all types of community-building features.
So you should check this point before choosing one for your online courses.
4. Delivery Methods
Do you want to deliver your courses as standalone products?
Or do you want to have the option to drip your content in accordance with a schedule?
Luckily, there are platforms that offer both options, so you don’t have to choose one or the other.
Just make sure the online learning platform you choose offers the option that suits you most.
5. Customization Options
Most online course platforms feature professionally-designed templates and themes that you can use right away.
But what if you want to change a few details in your website’s pages so that they match the brand image you’re trying to display to visitors and students?
This is where customization comes into play.
You should opt for an online course platform that offers a lot of customization options so that you can adjust your landing and sales pages to your liking.
Luckily, most online learning platforms use drag-and-drop builders that make it easy for users to customize whatever they want on their websites.
If you already have a site that you’re looking to use for your courses, then you need to choose an online course platform that can integrate with your Content Management System (CMS).
It’s also important for the platform to offer integrations with other complementary platforms, such as payment gateways and email marketing tools.
Since not all platforms allow integrations, it’s best to check for this feature before settling so that you find one that suits your needs.
7. Marketing Tools
The best online course platforms, at least the ones using the all-in-one model, feature a host of marketing automation tools that help attract traffic to your course and increase your sales.
Such marketing tools include email marketing, sales pages, landing pages, and more.
Without these tools, you’ll have to market your courses on your own, which can be quite challenging if you’re new to the field.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which online course platform is best for beginners?
Teachable is the best online course platform for beginners. The platform takes care of updates, security, and makes setting up a course a breeze.
What is the best online course platform?
Thinkific is the best online course platform overall. It strikes the perfect balance between ease of use, feature-richness, and affordability.
There you have it; now you know all about the best online course platforms of today and how you should go about choosing one.
All that’s left for you is to pinpoint the one that meets your needs and start building and selling online courses.
If we had to choose, we’d go with Thinkific as a standalone platform or Kajabi as an all-in-one platform.
They both have a lot to offer and will help you create your courses with ease as well as provide your students with an enjoyable and engaging learning experience.