11 Best Online Course Platforms (Ultimate Guide for 2021)

Online learning is a new trend that we have encountered by now. The new lifestyle that we experienced in 2020 has taught us a lot. Online learning and course are expected to rise with time and see a figure of $325 billion by 2025. Now imagine, if you as a trainer or course creator are able to add 0.01% of that value to your number? This’s close to 32.5 million U.S. dollars. Well, that’s enough to motivate yourself to start creating your first course using the best online course platforms.

If you believe that you are an expert in a skill or niche, this is the right time to transform your decade of 2021 to 2030. Come out of your comfort zone, choose the best online course platform, and create your course outline for people who are ready to learn something that you already know.

Why Choose an Online Course Platform?

As a course creator, you are going to be mentor to a lot of learner. Your training will reduce their hustling by learning the right path from your course.

Similarly, when you chose an online course platform, you will save your time and money in creating your own online infrastructure and focus on creating your course. Some other benefits are

  1. You can create your online course website or integrate your course website with these platforms.
  2. Your course gets the advantage of getting promoted in these online course platform marketplaces.
  3. Your course video uploading and management are much easier and less costly than compared to hosting cost that you will have to pay for your own video hosting website.
  4. Collecting payments and setting up membership is much easier when you choose to run your course through these online course platforms.

So, confident about choosing a platform? To make this easy for you and having my personal experience of being a user of such a platform, I had complied and reviewed the world’s 11 best online course platforms for you to get started.

What Are The Types of Online Course Platforms?

Before we tell you the different online course platforms, it is very important to understand the different types of these platforms. Let’s give a quick check.

  • Dedicated Course platform.
  • Online Course Marketplace.
  • All in one Course platform.
  • E-Learning WordPress Plugins or Themes
  • Enterprise LMS Platforms.

Let’s understand these individually

Dedicated Course platform.

These platforms are only meant for the purpose of creating your own online courses. You may use this with the option as a subdomain to your website where you can offer users to log in and browse your learning modules. Eg. Thinkific, Teachable, Teachery, and Learnworlds.

Online Course Marketplaces

In a course marketplace, the course you create becomes part of a catalog and you get an existing student base to sell online courses to. This includes Udemy, Skillshare, Coursera and LinkedIn Learning.

All in one Course platform.

These are online business platforms that go beyond simple course creation functionality.  With platforms like this, you’ll be able to create courses but also run webinars, developer email sequences, and more.   These include Podia, Systeme.io, Kartra, and Kajabi.

E-Learning WordPress Plugins or Themes

Online course WordPress platforms are ideal options for anyone who wants to keep all of their course content within WordPress and these are for folks who likely already have a website.  These include Learndash and Zippy Courses.

Enterprise LMS Platforms.

These are the types of platforms that would be used to help businesses roll out training materials to their staff and are less focused on individual small course creators.  These include Academy of Mine and Wiz IQ.

Plans for the different platforms range from a free plan to about $499 per month, and are generally based on the level of features like the number of courses, students, storage space, and so on.  

Some of these course platforms have fees per month, while others have transaction fees for each course sold, and some have a combination of both.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to finding the right software to market and sell online courses, it depends solely on your situation.

What Are the Best Online Course Platforms?

Finding the best online course platform requires a lot of decision making check before you chose your platform. We have made it easy for you to chose from the best in market.

In Our opinion, the best online course platform for building your own course module and share it to world are Thinkific, Teachable, LearnDash, Learnworld and Podia.

These are some of the best platforms to teach your students. Here you can organize and deliver your content. Also, you can create membership plans, integrate CMS like WordPress, ecom options, and sell your courses efficiently.

Here our recommendation in detail for you to choose your best online course platforms.

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Thinkific Online Course Platform

Thinkific

Best way if you wish to start for FREE. Thinkific allows you to start with their 30 days free trial with all features to offer.

Wow! No transaction fee. You can onboard unlimited students in your course.

This is definitely a good start for beginner mentors who wishes to start with testing in launching their courses.

In the FREE plan, you get to upload and manage your content hosting. [Audio, video, and PDF]. If you go with building that content course with your own hosting, it would cost huge. We would recommend considering Thinkific to start.

With unlimited students, content hosting, and instant access to your funds at zero transaction cost, it is perfect to get started for FREE with Thinkific.

If you wish to create unlimited courses then you will have to upgrade to their premium plan. It starts with $49/month [ Monthly plan ]. Its premium plan can go as high as $499 [If you are buying that, definitely you already have huge course followers to buy from you].

Features with Thinkific Premium?

Though you get a bundle of packages with a FREE plan it’s obvious that there are few features that you would love to have. Let’s understand what thinkific has to offer in premium plans.

  • You can create unlimited courses in the premium plan.
  • A coupon system can be integrated to boost sales.
  • You can push bulk emails to students [ Available in top plan. ]
  • Scheduled Content is possible in Premium plans.
  • You can create your course affiliate with the premium plan.
  • Setting custom domains.
  • Support is available in premium plans only.
  • Live session on ZOOM.
  • Community management.
  • Onboarding management.

More good to add about thinkific FREE plans, you can setup your entire course with their easy drag and drop builder. You can customize your course pages with their pre built templates.

Thinkific best course platform builder with drag and drop templates.

You can check the complete packages, plans and pricing here

To compare their pricing plan, you can check this

We strongly recommend you to give a one-month free trial before you setup your entire course on Thinkific. This is the best option for entrepreneurs, marketers, trainers, corporate trainers who are willing to create some serious course selling business Else, let’s find more best online course platform below to choose from.

Thinkific Review

How to buy Saas

Ease Of Use
Customer Service
Features
Value For Money

Overall Rating

When you start with Thinkific, you will have to understand how to setup everything. Their customer support can guide you if you get stuck. Thinkific offers all features that you would need to start an online course at a good value for money

4.8
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Teachable Online Course Platform

Teachable

Teachable is definitely our 1st choice for E-Learning course platform. Though this doesn’t have options to get started for FREE but you can always get 30 days money back guarantee if you are not getting worth of your penny investing on teachable which is one of the best online course platform for selling courses.

You join more than 100k+ course creator and start your wonderful knowledge-sharing course to a large and eager learner.

Features of Teachable Course Learning Platform.

Teachable focuses on telling that this is your show. Just get started without thinking about building infrastructure instead create your course content.

  • Custom domain linking option.
  • Create engaging content, organize, manage, and share coaching sessions.
  • Get an exhaustive list of partners to integrate 3 party apps.
  • Get sales insights into your courses.
  • Manage roles of your course contributors.
  • Unlimited bandwidth for course management and browsing.
  • Get and list unlimited courses on premium plans with unlimited student onboarding.
  • Talk to your live students.
  • Schedule and host special classes.
  • Integration with tools like calendly for schedule management.
  • Manage feedback automation and publish success stories.
  • You can create your own support system for students via integration with Zendesk, intercom, etc integrations.
  • SSO [Single Sign On] is available.

You can check complete Features and security plans here.

We recommend using their premium plan worth $119. You get the best for getting started with selling your online course. It starts with zero transactional cost on course selling and you can manage quizzes, grades, certificates, advanced website themes, and support for 5 admin roles. The priority features are covered easily under this pricing plan.

Get started with your Teachable plan and get a premium course creation bundle.

Teachable Review

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Ease Of Use
Customer Service
Features
Value For Money

Overall Rating

When you start with Teachable, you will love the onboarding process. Their customer support is very responsive. Teachable offers improved features. Best time saver for both beginners and professionals

4.9
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Kajabi Online Course Platform

Kajabi

Kajabi is also like any other online course platform to build a place for selling your course but few of its smart features make it different from other peers in the same industry. It cost higher because you get a complete bundle of core tools and packages in a single dashboard of Kajabi to create your first course.

With more than 18,000 course creators and $957 million through their platform, it is pointless to say that you will not get the worth of your course if done right.

The marketing automation of Kajabi is incomparable. If you are serious about selling your course then Kajabi is best online course platform to choose for building your course training entrepreneur lifestyle.

Let’s find out the features it offers.

Features of Kajabi Online Course Platform

Here are some of the amazing features of Kajabi that makes if an awesome online course learning platform.

  • Easy drag and drop building for your course page designs.
  • Ready to use templates for your course website.
  • Manage subscription of your training program.
  • Setup customizable checkout and payment gateways.
  • Manage your email marketing design and automation from the Kajabi platform.
  • Creating marketing funnels for your course and manage the automation.
  • Get analytics report of all activities happening with your course.
  • Tag people based on their behavior and use it for marketing purposes.
  • Create a mobile-friendly platform.

Kajabi starts with $119/mo with 30 days money back guarantee.

Kajabi Review

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Ease Of Use
Customer Service
Features
Value For Money

Overall Rating

Kajabi will reduce your overall expenses in building and spreading voice for your online course. Excellent features to try and grow your online course business.

4.8
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Learnworlds Online Course Platform

Learnworlds

Learnworlds is 4rd in our list for the best online course platform. You can start selling quickly and monetize your skills.

Learnworlds are the best creative platform for generating engaging student friendly course content but if you are looking for some free platform then learnworlds will not fulfil your goal since it start with a pricing of 24 USD/month. The 1st plan has a 5 USD transaction cost on each sale of course but plans beyond that has no transactional cost.

You can utilize their sales and landing page builders to creating convincing web pages to generate sales from your own custom domain websites.

They have easy page builders to customize from pre available template that needs no coding knowledge for getting your course selling website live. \

Let us look at all the features offered by Learnworlds.

Features of Learnworlds Online course platform.

Knowing an overview, it must have compelled you to know about all the features that it offers. Let’s look at them one by one

  1. Get unlimited admin and mentor management system with higher plans.
  2. No transaction fee for sales that happens.
  3. You get a complete website builder with a blog section.
  4. Unlimited sales page creation.
  5. White label solutions.
  6. Auto transcript and captions for your video tutorial will be present.
  7. Manage your course affiliate.
  8. Single Sign-On (SSO)
  9. With an extra fee, you can get a Mobile app for IOS and Android.
  10. Question bank management.
  11. Scheduled Automated Reports.
  12. Flexible invoicing option.

To check complete plans and pricing, you can visit here

Learnworlds is the best way to manage, create and build complete knowledgebase of your skills.

Get a free 30-day trial at my link below and start building your online community.

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Podia Online Course Platform

Podia

To introduce Podia as the best online course platform, it is amazing SAAS to get started with no transactional cost and 3 steps easy process to take your course to live.

Learn about saas marketing here

Podia is the best online course platform for you if you wish to create a great community along with a membership platform. Also, it offers you are powerful affiliate sales system that lets you market your course by approving course selling affiliate marketers. Managing webinar-based courses is possible with podia which makes it a unique place for live class-based courses to begin with.

Let’s checkout the complete features of Podia.

Features of Podia Online Course platform.

Podia comes with a bundle of features to offer its users. let’s mention all of them for you to choose if it fits best for you.

  • They offer FREE Migration of course content from an already hosted place.
  • Manage unlimited customers and students.
  • They offer complete website hosting under their plan [No need for buying separate hosting plans]
  • Manage your website pages and content with podia.
  • Integrating with 3rd party tools like google analytics, Facebook pixel, etc is easy and simple.
  • Live customer support is there for you to meet any challenges.
  • Podia allows 11 languages with 22 currency management which makes it easy for you to take your course to international learners.
  • Manage any format of course content like video, audio, text, etc.
  • You get flexible layouts.
  • You can test your landing pages, website, and course structure before taking anything to live for access.
  • Customize your branding with a logo, brand color, etc.
  • Get mobile-friendly responsive design customization options.
  • Drip content option is available to offer students access on a scheduled basis.
  • You can set up payment gateways and allow students to pay in monthly installments.
  • Manage quizzes at the end of every course.
  • Podia gives you the option to pre-launch your course by collecting emails.
  • Get options to link your groups like Facebook and slack.
  • Host live events for your audience.

Checkout complete features list here

Get a free DEMO

Podia starts with $39/mo. Get 14 days FREE trial today

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Learndash Online Course Platform

Learndash

Learndash is a WordPress Plugin that helps you create a Learning management system using WordPress CMS. Some of the big and renowned universities and businesses like University of Michigan and Yoast.

Learndash integrates with a Drip email campaign that helps the course creators to push the scheduled course according to your program.

Also check Best Website development software [No coding needed]

Let’s look at the key features of learndash

Features of Learndash Online Course Platform.

Learndash is an amazing flexible WordPress plugin to create your course platform using WordPress. This CMS itself is so flexible and using a plugin like Learndash adds more flexible options to create your best online course platform. Let’s check what features it offers.

  1. The Focus mode feature of learndash helps your learners to stay away from distraction.
  2. It offers drag and drop builder.
  3. Advanced Quizzing methods for creating interactive tests.
  4. Dynamic content delivery with drip-feeding.
  5. Automated triggering based on student actions.
  6. Create badges and certification for your students.
  7. Create discussion forums.
  8. Create an awarding system for students as per their course completion.
  9. Manage leaderboard to create a healthy competitive environment.
  10. Setup an assignment system so that learners and go ahead accordingly.
  11. You can set up one-time purchase with free sample course videos.
  12. Learndash offers smart integrations with the best tools to automate your course training program.
  13. Manage groups and membership.
  14. Quickly run reports on enrollment, progress, and performance.
  15. Approve, comment, and award points on submitted assignments.
  16. You can use Learndash across multi-site network.

Check Demo here also, you can see detailed features here

Learndash has one time pricing that starts at 159 usd.

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Ruzuku Online Course Platform

Ruzuku

Ruzuku is not only an online course platform for help you create a course for your students but it is more than a team for them.

With smart features of integration and course creation, it is one of the kind to manage your course content in the video, audio, or text format for learners.

Let’s us learn why Ruzuku is one of the best Online Course platform.

Features of Ruzuku Online Course Platform.

Excited to know how Ruzuku is the best online course platform?

  • Accept payments from gateways like PayPal and Stripe.
  • A subscription-based payment model can be set up for courses.
  • A coupon management system is easy to integrate.
  • You can create free courses.
  • Email marketing integration is simple and quick with 3rd party tools like Mailchimp etc.
  • Scheduling courses according to the calendar is a wonderful feature.
  • Drip content course management is available.
  • You can copy any previous courses and repeat it.
  • Easy hosting of video and audio content is easy.
  • You are also offered backup facilities which is unique.
  • Community management for students can be built easily.
  • Group chat, an automated recording is added advantage.

You can check the complete features offered by Ruzuku here

Finally, the exciting part is, ruzuku offers unlimited course for unlimited students on all paid plan.

Give a try to Ruzuku. FREE Trial for 14 days

Upgrade to premium plans with unlimited features starting at $ 75 /mo

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Best Online course platform Price Comparision for 2021

We already found the 7 best Online course platforms. Now, to sum up, we have compared all these 7-course platforms together.

Tool NamePricingFree TrialWebsite
Thinkific$49/month1 Free Account. Visit Here
Teachable$39/month30 days money backVisit Here
Kajabi$149/month14-day free trialVisit Here
Learnworlds$29/month30 days money backVisit Here
Podia$39/month14 days free trialVisit Here
Learndash$159/monthOne time costVisit Here
Ruzuka$99/month14-day unlimited-useVisit Here

The above top 7 best online course platform are good for once who wish to build their courses and allow students to learn from them. These platforms help them become educationalist entrepreneurs.

In this blog, we are also going to talk for students. If you are a student and looking fro best online course platfrom to learn new skills and technology, we are listing some of the best down below.

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What Are Online Course Platform?

Online course platforms are the new technology for creating an online learning experience using learning management system.

Using these platform, you can share your knowledge and expertise to enthusiastic learner in different formats like video, images, audio and texts.

These platforms will help students to learn, take notes, engage with mentors to learn beyond just learning, and gain certification of skills. Their course software includes a dedicated fully-responsive website experience, easy content uploads, the ability to edit the look and feel of the class, marketing features, course completion certificates, a sales funnel, and more.

Any course creator can signup on these platforms and create their courses. Students can enrol to these different courses by paying fee and start learning.

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What Are the Best Online Learning Platforms?

So students, excited to learn from new courses with best mentorship? We are going to enlist 5 best platform for online course learning.

We are going to talk about few course availing marketplaces where students can pay and learn anything and earn certifications.

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Udemy Online Course Platform

Udemy

With over 25 million students already enrolled in over 35,000 mentored courses, Udemy is considered the best online course platform to learn or share learning. If you are planning to be a trainer, then you need to first register as an instructor.

As an instructor, you can start for free but make sure that your course has minimum 5 lectures with 30 minutes of teaching in each lectures.

Why Udemy?

Udemy is a big marketplace for learning. Let’s understand why an instructor or a student should choose Udemy as their online course learning platform.

  • As an instructor, you can promote your course on their platform with a 25 million + student base.
  • Udemy is almost free to use for an instructor. They only charge 3 percent on revenue share, unlike other platforms where you have to pay to create your course.
  • Udemy helps you to opt-in for their marketing promotions to allow more students coming in to enroll for their course. It’s like someone else managing your course promotion and marketing.
  • The Udemy platform is ready to offer your 24/7 support.

Udemy is a student-friendly platform. Here instructors can be bluffed by their bad students. They have 30 days no question refund policy for students. A student can avail a course, complete it in 30 days, and push a refund. An instructor will have to bear this loss.

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Skillshare Online Course Platform

Skillshare

Skillshare is the most creative platform to teach or learn anything. Here you can find courses from any field and industry. Fine arts, cooking, technology, anything that you can think of learning.

With over 6 million registered students, skillshare is loved both by learners as well as mentors.

Skillshare is a free platform for course creators. They have a revenue-sharing model for mentors when their courses reaches a defined minute of watch minutes. They also pay 10 USD for premium membership referrals.

Why Skillshare?

Skillshare is unique in offering services and support to course creators as well as buyers. If you have a unique concept, course, or subject to teach your learners then skillshare is best for you.

  • They have a large audience of vivid learners. Every course will see a definite set of audience.
  • Skillshare helps course creators in guiding them to create their outline for the audience.
  • They even help you in content productions on demand.

Skillshare is best for you only if you have a out of the box concept of course to teach as the revenue sharing model for begineer mentor can be very less.

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LinkedIn Learning Online Course Platform

LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn is considered as a social media platform for professional by a lot of people but this is way beyond just social media. If you don’t know about linkedIn learning than go ahead and see what you are missing.

LinkedIn learning is tailored for business professional learners. With full learning path and courses to cover from top demand skills like data science, digital marketing etc, LinkedIn is the best platform to opt for courses, learn and enhance your professional skill sets.

Why LinkedIn Learning?

LinkedIn Learning is the best course marketplace for learning purposes. You can start with as low as 20 USD/month and when you start, you can cover a few courses for free as they offer 30 days free trial.

LinkedIn learning offers you are course path. For example, if you want to become a programmer, you will get a complete guide on how to start and what to learn in a sequence.

Post completion of the course, you also get certificates of completion which are directly highlighted on your LinkedIn profile.

From our point of view, LinkedIn learning is the best online course platform for learners.

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Shaw Academy Online Course Platform

Shaw Academy

Shaw academy is a platform for learners who are willing to become certified professionals. On this platform, you get online video classes with in-depth practical knowledge at affordable cost.

Let’s get to the point. Why Shaw academy is an amazing learning platform?

  1. Flexible online courses – You can schedule your courses according to your timings.
  2. Take breaks. – You can manage breaks.
  3. Amazing educator support – Your educators will always be available to answer your question.
  4. Downloadable – You can download your courses to view offline.
  5. Global Recognition – The courses of shaw academy are internationally accepted and recognized.
  6. Unlimited courses – As a student, you can subscribe to all content at once.

Worst thing about this platform – Registration of students get stuck. [ We faced this while testing ] and later you will be notified after a time gap that you can start.

Skills that you can master on shaw academy

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Final Thought

The best online course platform has to be both for students as well as creator. These platform are like big marketplaces for educators where everyone is exchanging the knowledge. It has to be good from both end.

We reviewed 11 online course platforms and found that these places have distinct features and benefits for both learners and teachers. For students, it is important to choose that platform that is more recognized and offers certification of courses which is internationally accredited. Meanwhile, course creator should choose those online course platform that allows them flexibility in creating their course.

Our recommendation for Creators – The best 3 are thinkific, teachable and kajabi to begin and enjoy the big opportunities but the other 4 recommendation in the list is equally good.

Our recommendation for Students – Start with Udemy as it is very student-friendly and affordable.

In the end, we can only say, look for what you want and choose the one that fits your need. Happy Learning!

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Frequently Asked Questions About Best Online Course Platforms

How do I start an online course business?

7 Quick Step to Start online course business
1. Decide what you wish to teach.
2. Validate the demand of that skill in market.
3. Chose your online course partner for hosting.
4. Create a brand trust around your course.
5. Start building your audience.
6. Add all content to your course.
7. Focus on customer success.
8. Scale your business by reinvesting.

How much money do online courses make?

Your online course could earn anywhere from a $0 – $50k+ per month. Many course creators will earn $1 – 5k/month and there are numerous examples of online course teachers earning $10k – $50k per month.. There are lots of factors that will determine how much you can earn by selling online courses.

Do you need a business license to sell online courses?

When you have started new and testing your market with the course you created, you won’t need license but if you are showing yourself as a business entity than do get your business license.

Show full profile

Snehil Is a saas blogger and digital consultant who helps new businesses to grow online. He has been working with multi-niche online businesses and shaped their growth ladders. Apart from this, reading and writing are his favorite stress buster.

2 Comments
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  1. What’s up, yeah this post is actually good
    and I have learned lot of things from it on the topic
    of blogging. thanks.

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