The Best Online Course Platforms (2023 Reviews & Rankings)
With the best online course platforms, you can turn your knowledge into a revenue stream by creating and selling your own courses.
If you’re looking to make a foray into the online learning business, there’s no better time than now!
The COVID pandemic brought out the convenience and flexibility of learning online, and this is why more people are turning to such e-learning courses to enhance their knowledge and further their careers.
In fact, the online learning market is estimated to be worth about $325 billion by 2025.
If you want to share your knowledge and expertise with the world and make a steady revenue through it, you might be wondering just how to go about creating an online course. The good news is you don’t have to spend a ton of time on tech building as many online course platforms such as the ones we talk about in this article provide the infrastructure for you to upload your materials and start teaching.
Read on for our full guide to the best online course platforms available in 2023.
Table of Contents
Kajabi - Best Overall Course Platform
Kajabi is an advanced course platform that comes packed with extensive marketing and automation features. There’s virtually nothing that you can’t do in Kajabi, but this also comes at a steep price.
Browse through its professional templates and customize any of them to create your top-notch website.
Once your website is ready, upload your content and start marketing them using digital funnels, email marketing, tracking and analytics, and more. You can set up automation with conditional filters in course delivery and marketing to save time and effort.
You can also check out these Kajabi course examples to see what’s possible with creating your online class with the platform.
The highlight of this platform is its mobile app, using which students can easily access your course on both Android and iPhone.
Besides the ones mentioned above, here are some more features.
- Supports fully-automated marketing campaigns through its “Pipelines” feature.
- Comes with modern and professional-looking website themes.
- Offers blogging functionality.
- Enables you to sell any digital product and not just courses.
- Offers powerful membership features for generating steady revenue.
- Supports customizable checkout for higher conversion rates.
- Comes with built-in campaigns and funnels to meet your marketing goals.
- Offers clear insights into your students’ performance.
In all, Kajabi is an advanced platform that has all the features you need to successfully build and market courses and digital products.
Our Kajabi review has more details on the platform.
Kajabi pricing includes three different plans:
- Basic – $119/month billed annually or $149/month billed monthly. Supports three products and three funnels.
- Growth – $159/month billed annually or $199/month billed monthly. Supports 15 products and 15 funnels.
- Pro – $319/month billed annually or $399/month billed monthly. Supports 100 products and 100 funnels.
Thinkific - A Comprehensive Course Platform
Thinkific is a comprehensive online course platform that provides a good student experience and a host of features for uploading and promoting your content. It is capable of delivering a high-end course experience that can make your customers come back for more.
Here’s a look at some important features of Thinkific.
- You can customize your website and others won’t see the Thinkific logo anywhere. Its drag-and-drop editor makes customization a breeze.
- The sales pages and templates are well-optimized to boost your conversion rate.
- Supports using any kind of teaching material such as videos, audio, text, HTML files, and more.
- Offers the option to send your course in one go or drip it over time through a membership wall.
- Comes with free video hosting.
- No limits on membership, course content, sales pages, or checkout pages in the higher plans.
- Supports more than 100+ currency types, Stripe, and PayPal to collect payments from your customers. Further, the many advanced pricing options, offer bundling, upselling, and cross-selling greatly enhance the saleability of your courses.
- Provides marketing automation such as sales funnels, email segmentation, and more.
Overall, Thinkific is a one-stop platform for uploading your courses and selling them to potential customers. Its intuitive user interface and dashboard provide an excellent learning experience for your customers. At the same time, Thinkific makes it easy to create websites, upload your content, market, and analyze the metrics.
Our Thinkific review has more info on its various features.
Thinkific pricing includes four different options:
- Free to test drive the site.
- Basic – $39/month when paid annually or $49/month when paid monthly. Ideal for first-time users.
- Pro – $79/month when paid annually or $99/month when paid monthly. Ideal for experienced course creators looking to step up their online education business.
- Premier – $399/month when paid annually or $499/month when paid monthly. A good choice for scaling your online learning company.
LearnDash - Best Course Platform for WordPress Sites
LearnDash is a WordPress-based platform for creating, hosting, and managing your courses. This platform is used as a plugin to integrate with existing WordPress sites. The obvious advantage of this platform is that you can leverage other free and paid WordPress plugins to quickly implement the features you want.
Another highlight is the student experience. They can choose what’s called the “focus mode” to remove all distractions while taking the course. Furthermore, the “Gradebook” technology gives students a weighted grade based on their homework, assignment, and quiz scores, and this helps to better understand their progress. There’s also an option to award certificates and badges to the top performers.
Here are more features of LearnDash.
- The drag and drop course builder helps to create courses quickly and easily.
- Offers many options for grading students, with eight types of questions that can be further customized and question banks.
- Supports membership sites and drip content to earn a steady revenue.
- Enables you to set prerequisites for access to courses and lessons.
- Triggers automatic emails and messages to students based on their specific activities.
- Offers a discussion forum for students to exchange ideas and interact with each other.
- Comes with advanced pricing options including free content samples, bundling, flexible payment options, and more.
- Integrates well with popular digital marketing, communication, and payment platforms.
Overall, LearnDash has a ton of features to help you host courses on WordPress sites. Its student-centric approach and the flexibility for customization make it a popular choice among course creators today.
LearnDash pricing includes two different options – you can buy it as a WordPress plugin or a fully-hosted course website.
WordPress plugins start at $199/year for one site, $399/year for 10 sites, and $799/year for unlimited sites. The full site option costs $29/month.
Teachable - Best Course Creation Platform for Beginners
Teachable is a no-frills course creation platform where you can focus completely on creating and sharing courses without worrying about the technical aspects. Moreover, it’s quick and easy to build courses on Teachable, and is highly affordable as well, thereby making it a good choice for beginners and anyone who’s looking to test the waters of online course selling.
Teachable offers a simple and intuitive learning experience for students, and they can stay on top of their progress.
Some important features of Teachable are listed below.
- Setup is simple and straightforward, and doesn’t require extensive technical knowledge.
- Sales and checkout pages are optimized for high conversion rates. Also, you can bundle courses, offer them as a subscription, and more, based on your audiences’ preferences.
- Live Zoom courses are available in the higher plans.
- Enables you to provide course completion certificates to students.
- Quizzes and assignments can be graded.
- Supports many content types, so your material can be videos, PDF docs, texts, audios, etc.
- Comes with a wide range of website themes that can be customized to meet your needs.
- Helps you to quickly build lead generation forms.
- Offers video analytics to know the performance and interests of your students.
Overall, Teachable is a no-frill course creation platform that focuses on course delivery and student learning experience, with limited marketing features.
Our Teachable review takes a deeper look at all of its features.
LearnWorlds - Best Platform for an Interactive Learning Experience
LearnWorlds is a good choice if you want to provide a hands-on and interactive learning experience for your students.
It comes with many features such as quizzes, assignments, surveys, and more to keep your students engaged.
You can even include videos and games, if that’s something your students like. A combination of these different content types reduces the dropout rates and boosts interest in your offering.
From a course-building standpoint too, LearnWorlds is a good choice. It comes with many templates and themes to choose from and its intuitive drag and drop builder makes customization a breeze. Along with creating courses, you can also use this platform to market courses to your intended audience, as it supports coupons, discounts, cross-sells, upsells, course bundling, and more.
Along with the above features, LearnWorlds offers the following as well.
- Offers a branded mobile app that comes with push notifications and in-app purchases.
- Supports SCORM compliance, and this can come in handy for educational institutions.
- Comes with a pop-up form for lead generation.
- Automatically extracts transcripts from your videos.
- Supports the addition of questions, pointers, offers, and other interactive elements to your videos without post-production efforts.
- Supports drip content and membership sites.
- Offers many ways to take notes and highlight the important points while listening to videos or reading study materials.
- Provides branded digital certificates, question banks, assessments, tests, quizzes, and more.
In all, LearnWorlds is a good choice to provide interactive courses and an enjoyable learning experience for your students. It also supports a wide range of content types to enhance a student’s interest in your offering.
LearnWorlds pricing includes four different plans:
- Starter – $24/month billed annually or $29/month billed monthly.
- Pro Trainer – $79/month billed annually or $99/month billed monthly.
- Learning Center – $249/month billed annually or $299/month billed monthly.
- High Volume and Corporate – Custom pricing.
Podia - An Affordable Platform for Selling Digital Products
Podia is an affordable platform for selling digital products such as courses, webinars, ebooks, digital downloads, videos, content, memberships, and more.
In general, Podia is a good choice if you plan to go beyond just courses and want a place to sell all kinds of digital content including live webinars.
You can even have an affiliate program within Podia, where you can track the performance of your affiliates and their payouts based on a custom commission plan. It also has a reasonable number of marketing features to promote and sell your products.
Here’s a look at the important features of Podia.
- Supports drip feed to keep your students interested over an extended period.
- Offers many marketing and communication tools such as email marketing, social media integrations,
- With Podia, you can schedule your content and sell it ahead of time to generate interest and revenue.
- No transaction fees.
- Comes with a simple interface for accessing any kind of digital content.
- Supports adding content in various formats such as videos, audio, text, images, and more.
- Generates detailed reports and analytics, so you can tailor your future marketing campaigns accordingly.
Overall, Podia is a good choice for creating digital content that goes beyond just courses. Its affordability makes it ideal for anyone, from novices trying digital content for the first time to experienced digital business houses.
Our Podia review has a lot more details about all of its pros and cons.
To conclude, online course platforms are a convenient way to share your knowledge and experience with others and to make a steady revenue from it.
Many platforms go beyond just hosting and offer additional features to market your content and build a customer base. They also offer reporting and analytics to help you gauge the performance of your offerings.
We hope this information helps you to choose a platform that’s best suited for your needs.
Have any questions about our guide to the best online course platforms? Let us know by commenting below.