I’ve written an updated version of this post for 2020 “15 Platforms to Create and Sell Online Courses in 2020.” Online courses enable instructors to share knowledge with others in a way that enhances the student’s learning experience while making it easy to consume content.
To create a successful online course, you need to know what to look for in a course creation platform. For starters, it should offer video hosting capabilities, multiple payment options, and give you control over your course site and content.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular online course creation platforms to help you make an informed decision. But before we begin, let’s take a look at the key features you should look for when choosing a platform to create and sell online courses.
Choosing the Right Online Course Platform
Online course creation platforms are essentially learning management systems (LMS) that let you offer classes to students. The LMS enables students to progress through the course, complete homework, take quizzes and submit assignments.
Here are some of the most important features you need to look for in an online course platform:
- Video hosting. Although video hosting sites like Vimeo and YouTube are viable options, you’ll have to juggle between your video host and your online course platform. For this reason, you should go for an online course platform that lets you host your online course videos on the same platform.
- You should choose a course platform that issues payouts as early as possible after you make a sale. By connecting directly to a payment processor such as PayPal and Stripe, you’ll be able to quickly receive your money straight from your students. Otherwise, most course platforms take about thirty days to process and send you payments.
- Custom or branded domains. To establish yourself as a reputable online course provider, you’ll need to create your own online course sales page on a branded domain. For example, your site might be something like paintingbasics.com.
- Supported file types. The online course platform you choose should offer support for all popular file types such as PDFs, .docx, .xlsx, .mp3, .mp4, etc….
Now that you know what features to look for in an online course platform, let’s go over some popular online course solutions to help to find the one that best fits your needs.
Best Platforms to Create and Sell Online Courses
To create a successful online course, you’ll need a course creation platform that meets your specific requirements.
Thinkific offers a complete software solution to help you build, market, and sell your online courses. In addition to this, it lets you automate onboarding processes, course completion certificates, and student messaging.
- Offers themes to go with your course topics.
- Lets you create and customize your online courses.
- Doesn’t charge any sort of transaction fee.
- Drag-and-drop feature allows you to easily add content to your courses.
Teachable is a popular online course creation platform that lets you deliver your courses from your own site with your own branding.
- Control your branding, student information, and set pricing.
- Lets you personalize your course content.
- Supports popular audio, video, image, and text file types.
- Works seamlessly on every device including desktop computers, smartphones, and tablets.
Kajabi is a powerful online course creation and marketing tool that lets you create, deliver, promote, and sell education online. In addition to this, you can also leverage its built-in marketing features to sell more courses.
- Lets you choose your own custom branding including fonts, colors, and images.
- Each Kajabi website automatically gets a custom domain site.
- Lets you host videos on Kajabi that will run smoothly on any device.
- Member dashboard enables you to quickly view the products each customer has purchased and their payment and login history.
LearnDash is a widely-used course creation platform for WordPress that makes it easy to create and distribute knowledge online.
- Lets you quiz students using eight different question types, question banks, and custom messages.
- Set up a shopping cart for selling your online courses.
- Offers a number of useful integrations including Stripe, WooCommerce, Zapier, and bbPress.
- Supports almost every media type including audio, video, text, and Google Docs.
LifterLMS is simple yet powerful online course software that lets you build, market, sell, and protect your courses from within one platform. It’s a WordPress plugin which means you’ll have full control over your online course website.
- Offers drag-and-drop functionality that lets you create courses from one screen.
- Supports all popular e-learning file types including audio, video, and images.
- You own your course platform and have full control over payments.
- Lets you collect assignments and conduct quizzes.
Podia is a popular online course platform that lets you create and sell courses. It also works great for membership sites and for selling downloadable products.
- Offers support for all video and text file types in addition to .mp3 for audio.
- Lets you offer monthly installment plans to your students.
- Lets you customize your course pages based on your branding.
- Fully mobile responsive.
LearnWorlds is a premium course creation platform that lets you build engaging courses.
- Customize your course site’s branding including the style, theme, and logo.
- Offers beautiful sales and landing pages for your course site.
- Supports four different payment gateways namely Stripe, PayPal, Shopify, and 2Checkout.
- Online testing engine lets you create quizzes, assignments, and certificates.
- Gives you free unlimited hosting for your course videos.
#8: Digital Chalk
Digital Chalk is a powerful LMS software that enables you to create, market, and sell your courses and collect payments.
- Customize your courses to match your branding including images, logos, and colors.
- Offers built-in integration with Shopify to help you easily receive payments.
- Lets you create highly interactive course content using a variety of file types.
- Allows you to create courses outside of its platform and import them.
Ruzuku is a useful course creation platform that allows online instructors to sell their digital products.
- Supports audio, video, text, and PDF file types.
- Enables you to host and stream video and audio content.
- Lets you collect payments via PayPal and Stripe.
- Students will be able to track their progress by marking each activity they’ve completed.
AccessAlly is an all-in-one WordPress course creation plugin that lets you sell your online courses.
- Accept payments using PayPal and Stripe payment gateways.
- Lets you quiz students and score them on their tests.
- Allows you to securely host all kinds of content including videos, .mp3 files, and PDFs.
Click4Course allows you to create and sell your online courses and keep track of your students.
- Lets you customize your course site with your brand’s logo, image, welcome message, and colors.
- Test your learners and award certificates.
- Enables you to use videos and Powerpoint decks to create content.
ZippyCourses is a useful course creation platform that lets you create and sell online courses.
- Drag-and-drop interface allows you to effortlessly create your courses.
- Gives you a free custom domain for your course site.
- Lets you sell multiple versions of your courses with different access tiers.
- Offers integration with PayPal, Stripe, GetResponse, and more.
#13: Academy of Mine
Academy of Mine is a full-featured course creation platform that caters to the needs of both individuals and small businesses.
- It gives you the tools you need to build your own course site.
- Lets you conduct quizzes and monitor your students’ progress.
- Lets you customize your course content to match your branding.
Skillshare is a popular course building platform that lets you turn your knowledge and skills into a steady income stream.
- Intuitive and user-friendly interface.
- Supports web-based, iOS, and Android devices.
- Offers integration with MailChimp, Adobe, and Bigcartel.
Udemy is one of the most popular course creation platforms that aims to allow everyone to learn from experts.
- Lets you create audio, video, and text content for your online courses.
- Students are able to submit quizzes and get certificates of completion.
- Lets you collect payments through PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, and more.
WizIQ lets you create online courses to teach your students and offers tools to help you deliver an engaging learning experience.
- Provides tools for live training sessions including video streaming and discussion boards.
- Lets you create tests and assessments to check your students’ progress.
- Offers a built-in payment gateway to help you collect payments.
OpenSesame allows you to quickly set up your online course and start making money right away.
- Lets you upload video content to your course site.
- Students are able to access your courses using any LMS.
To build a successful online course, you’ll need a hosting platform that offers video hosting, payment options, custom domains, and supports popular video, audio, and text file types. By comparing the features offered by different course building platforms, you’ll be in a better position to determine which solution is right for you.
What are some of the features you look for in an online course creation platform? Let us know by commenting below!