Best Online Course Platforms to Create Courses and Teach Online Easily
Are you a teacher or a professional searching for teaching websites to teach online and earn a decent living?
There’re dozens of online teaching platforms or online course platforms. But choosing the best online teaching platform or online course platform can be a challenge to either party despite the increased demand and improvements in these platforms.
Today most institutions have shifted to online course platforms while experts in the education sector or professionals are creating courses and selling them through these platforms. Therefore, there is an increase in educational materials now than in previous years.
The main challenge now is to identify the right platform as a learner or an entrepreneur that wants to host or deliver their online courses.
Crucial Factors That learners should consider when choosing an Online Platform
Learners and companies that want to raise the professional level of their employees are turning to online course platforms because of their easy access and flexibility.
Thus, giants like Coca Cola, Hilton and Heineken, as well as millions of learners, are turning to online learning, and they have experienced tremendous success.
Online courses or eLearning are very cost-effective, excellent in enhancing professional skills and deepening people’s commitment to their company or other institutions.
On the other hand, there are more than 600 online course providers on the market, thus making it a challenge to choose the best platform.
However, don’t feel frustrated for this article will provide you will a list of factors to consider, thus making your purchasing decision easier.
Select a Provider Offering the Course and Software
A traditional learning environment provides both classrooms and learning materials, and the same should be availed in online course platforms. The supplier should offer you’re the Learning Management System (LMS) and courses. They should also ensure that the two components are compatible to save efforts and time used on course adaptation.
Online learning should go beyond listening to or watching lectures on your laptop. Instead, you should be able to scroll through its extensive online library and select a course that meets your needs. More so, the training and development specialist in a company in conjunction with the LMS administrator should be able to choose from the library individual courses suitable for each employee.
Additionally, the platform should provide a dashboard detailing employees’ results and suggestions for further study. Further, the provider should be easily accessible in case of technical problems and should offer chat rooms, group pages, threaded discussions, and grade books.
An inconvenient interface and poorly-managed educational system is a red flag. For that result, look for platforms where you can easily access the course, add a calendar and wish list and get learning recommendations after every milestone.
Evaluate The Provider’s Industry Expertise, Reputation and Size
What is the size of the online provider you are currently using? It’s advisable to choose a big online course platform because it can attract a considerable number of lecturers and experts on the courses they are offering. They should also have a good reputation, and you can find this information from their customers’ reviews.
On the other hand, a smaller provider or platform is flexible and responds faster to customers’ queries. More so, such a platform specializes in a given area. For instance, a platform may specialize in data science, startups and entrepreneurs, sexual harassment prevention, workplace health and safety standards.
Therefore, whether you choose a big or small platform, they should both have expertise in the industry that can enhance your skills.
This is one of the crucial points each learner should take into consideration when choosing an online course platform. You should consider the speaker’s profiles to determine their professional and educational background. It includes details about any recognition as an expert in that field and whether they are lecturers in any well-established university. The second point is to consider the courses’ engagement and interactivity, as well as rights tests and tasks.
Now you are equipped to choose your online course provider, but why not start by searching for a platform offering a free trial period? Most platforms are offering this option to help users get familiarized with the interface before signing up.
You should explore all the features and the quality of the courses during the trial period to see whether it’s right for you.
How to Pick a Platform to Host Your Online Courses
Are you an expert looking for a platform to deliver your course online? The task can be daunting, considering that there are several e-learning platforms but with different levels of commitment.
The following lessons will help dedicated course entrepreneurs to make the right choice.
Identify What You Want
Experts think of online platforms whenever they create courses because there are billions of users seeking to advance their skills and eLearning is their first option. However, you are likely to suffer from choice overload because several platforms are offering online courses, and the number is still growing each day.
Although this is an added advantage because you are likely to find a platform that meets your requirements; however, having not worked with one before might make it hard to choose the best site and may lead to procrastination. Therefore, identify your needs and use that list to select the platform with these requirements and then register with them.
Consider the Features You Need For Your Courses
Document what you need the course platform to have before signing a contract with them. Create an excel sheet with all features that you need and set priorities. These priorities may change with time, and you may add new features as you explore what other platforms are offering. Some of these features are can you upload readings, hold discussions, play audio, show video, carry out learning activities, assess your students’ work, instant messages, online quiz and calendars, and widgets that permit external connections to the social media.
Marketing your content
Marketing of your content is another component that you should be worried about. However, good platforms provide the right tools to manage affiliates, email your users, create sales pages and other marketing activities.
On the other hand, you shouldn’t rely on these marketplace platforms 100% because for you to stand out, you need to market your courses yourself. Most of these platforms have hundreds of experts and tutors, and all of them are having similar expectations. Therefore, begin to build your audience for your content.
Take It Easy
Even if you are hosting your online content on a great platform, the value and success of your business is dependent on you and your content.
However, you can change from one platform to another in the course of when you find a better option or when it makes sense to switch from one platform to another.
For now, find a platform that meets your requirements and get started.
Best Online Course Platforms
It’s a premium online platform for instructors that want to create and sell their courses online. Academy of mine provides you with an all-in-one solution that comprises of a website to launch and sell your content online. A fully hosted template has a forum for chatting, galleries, landing pages, and courses offering pages. Through its complete course creation and LMS, a tutor can give out assignments, timed quizzes, and badges and generate units.
Further, the platform accepts PayPal and credit cards, and the entrepreneur can use email marketing, affiliate program and webinar for marketing their courses.
The Academy of Mine has three plans.
- Essentials plan that has less advanced features or an instructor that doesn’t need a lot of customizations. The plan goes for $499 per month or $4,999 per annum hence a two months discount.
- A professional plan is suitable for those who need advanced features. The plan is offered at $899 per month or $9,500 per annum hence a 12% discount.
- Enterprise plan caters for those individuals that require customized solutions and services due to their very unique needs. The plan is charged based on the features and uniqueness of the website that you want.
- You can create your videos, audio and text courses to sell to learners or followers.
- You can use the platform to sell membership, connect with customers or send them content via email.
- It has customized the LMS platform to suit every customer’s requirements.
- It offers free development hours across all plans.
- It has excellent customer support.
- It’s highly-priced for the lowest plan is $499 per month.
The platform has virtual classes created by universities and corporate organizations. Thus most of the instructors in this platform are lecturers in the world’s top universities. A single course can last between 4 to 6 weeks and has peer-reviewed assignments, video lectures as well as community discussion forums.
A person has to register for free with the platform to see the pricing details on each course. However, Coursera has three plans.
- Main courses have subscription fees of $29-99 per month, and the courses take 4-6 weeks to complete and receive an electronic course certificate.
- Specialization courses go for $39-79 per month, and it’s geared towards mastering a particular skill. The learner engages in hands-on projects that help them to tackle real challenges in the business environment.
- Online degree program takes 1-3 years to complete and goes for $15-25,000. Advanced education is offered online and is from recognized universities.
- Classes are open to all learners.
- The platform offers free courses with rich quality content.
- Coursera has instructors from 128 universities from 38 countries across the world.
- Its courses are updated regularly.
- It has limited languages.
- It allows university-based instructors.
- Most courses target beginners only.
The online platform broadcasts virtual classes live to an international audience without charge. Thus instructors and learners are connected through CreativeLive FB or webinars. Further CreativeLive relies on feedback from its customers to make improvements on its courses, thus helping the platform to top the creative industry and become the largest live-streaming education site worldwide.
The platform targets artists, musicians, photographers, artisans, business professionals and entrepreneurs that are seeking live classes to achieve their goals. For instance, one of the popular courses in social media that help users to explore opportunities in professional platforms like LinkedIn.
CreativeLive platform doesn’t have a fixed price, but you can opt for an annual subscription of around 1500 courses.
- It has affordable classes that are delivered by experienced and talented instructors like Diane Fu, Kelly Starret and Tim Ferris.
- The instructors are well conversant with their content, and they are able to start with straight forward topics and then delve into more in-depth content that drives the creative mind.
- The prices are not constant, for they vary from one lesson to another.
- The platform is not customer-centric.
It’s a flexible platform that deals with webinars, thus helping the organization to host training, meetings, and conferences online, and there can be up to four different presenters. Therefore, with EasyWebinar, a business can stream videos during the sessions without latency.
To run live webinars, the platform has market landing pages, editable registration pages, in addition to record and save options for all webinar sessions to allow download for later uses.
The main target of this platform is the start-ups, well-established organizations, bloggers and affiliate marketers. Through this platform, companies can training sessions and meetings through videos as supported by the increased availability of internet and technology advancement.
EasyWebinar has the following three plans.
- The standard plan accommodates 100 attendees and chats support at $78 per month.
- Pro plan accepts 500 attendees and phone support at $128 per month.
- Enterprise plan allows over 2000 attendees and dedicated account representatives at $499 per month.
- The platform offers both automated and live webinars under one stage.
- The pro package is budget-friendly for companies that hold regular meetings and videos online.
- The platforms have not invested in engagement and marketing tools like other platforms.
- It has an old webinar landing page template.
5. Flora LMS
The site was launched in 2019 and has developed its LMS to help its tutors have an excellent time hosting, selling and marketing their courses. Under this platform, an instructor uses a set of simple tools to create a simple storefront and then the courses are organized in individual pages. Further, each course has its course program description and outline, as well as its user reviews.
Additionally, a tutor can deliver the content using documents like DOC, XLS, PDF, and PPT. They can offer assessments and tests, engage learners using dialog simulations and issue certificates.
In this platform, instructors pay based on the number of students that have signed for the courses they are offering. Thus there are four plans.
- 30 users plan for $37 per month.
- 100 users for $77 per month.
- 300 users for $247 per month.
- Custom plan for more than 300 users.
- The platform has zero transaction fees, accepts payments through PayPal, Stripe, and other payment options in addition to multiple currencies.
- It allows video hosting, has unlimited courses and storage.
- Flora LMS offers live chat support.
- Instructors can’t sell memberships or downloads under Flora LMS.
- There is unlimited students option; thus, the platform charges more as the number of students increases.
It sophisticated course builder with advanced course themes, marketing automation, extensive email marketing, blogging functionality, customized checkout and digital products. For that reason, the platform is expensive and trusted by over 16,000 businesses.
An instructor pays $119 per month for a basic plan in exchange for a website, three pipelines and products, unlimited marketing emails and landing pages. As the prices increase, the educator gets more advanced features. The platform has a 14-day trial that helps to get accustomed to its features.
The platform has three plans.
- The basic plan offers 3 products and pipelines each, unlimited landing pages and marketing emails, 1 website with a single admin user, 1000 active members and 10,000 contacts all at %119 per month.
- Growth plan has 15 products and pipelines each, unlimited landing pages and marketing emails, 10, 000 active members and 25,000 contacts as well as 1 website with 10 admins users a price of $159 per month.
- Pro plan offers 100 products and pipelines, 2 million marketing emails and unlimited landing pages, 20,000 active members, 100,000 contacts and 3 websites with 25 admin users at $319 per month.
- The platform is advanced in terms of technology; thus, it has a robust video streaming capacity.
- Customer relationship management and email marketing are in-built.
- You can create different sale funnels using the pipeline feature.
- Technology allows it to offer excellent customer service.
- The platform is costly as compared to other platforms in the market.
- You will not be able to create an advanced quiz with features like randomization and question banks.
The online platform integrates WordPress. LearnDash is being used by organizations such as the University of Michigan, Infusionsoft, WP Elevation and Yoast. Learners use Focus Mode when studying to block distractions.
Another key feature is that its course builder is compatible with email drip campaigns; thus, an instructor can create content and link it with an email drip schedule. Therefore the feature sends lessons at every step of the program.
Additionally, LearnDash uses a Gradebook technology that grades learners based on their homework scores, and quizzes. It also awards badges, points and certificates for the actions and course activities they participate in. The platform has three plans.
- The basic package offers a single site license with unlimited courses and users at $159.
- The Plus package has 10 site licences with ProPanel, unlimited courses and users at $189.
- The pro package has 25 site licenses with ProPanel, unlimited courses and users at $329.
- The platform has a video progression tool that is inbuilt for streaming video courses.
- LearnDash has advanced functionality that helps you manage the site easily.
- Instructors use drag and drop course builder, thus making it easy to arrange courses in orderly manners or folders.
- It’s not user friendly, and the deep functionality may be challenging for users.
- The platform should continue developing this platform by adding innovative features to make it competitive.
The platform offers schooling solutions to several users by allowing instructors to use marketing tools and page builders to create online courses. Thus LearnWorlds has a complete course catalog and multiple tutors.
Instructors can include other teachers in their course, teach some units and create content without changing any of your general settings to their preferred ones. Thus you can have your school, access branded apps, upload videos from your desktop or import content from YouTube, Microsoft word or SoundCloud.
LearnWorlds offers a 30-day free trial that helps trainers to familiarize themselves with the site. The platform has four plans.
- The starter is a plan for beginner course creators, allows one admin, unlimited paid courses, and a $5 fee to each course sold. The plan is offered at $24 per month.
- Pro Trainer is for professional teachers, no transaction fees, unlimited courses and five instructors or admin. The plan is offered at $79 per month.
- Learner center is the most popular plan and accepts 20 instructors or admins, many student upload and interactive video. The plan goes for $249 per month.
- High volume and corporate is a plan that is customized based on the user’s requirements and is charged based on the features that will be availed.
- It’s a platform for anyone seeking simplicity, and it connects students with instructors.
- Students can join an online community that can help in sharing information and social interactions.
- An instructor can build and host courses on this platform using its various tools.
- The platform is not user friendly, and some users experience challenges with the typing feature in the website builder.
- The cheaper packages have no access to 24/7 customer support.
The platform was formerly known as Lynda and offers online courses targeting business professionals. Thus the site has over 1,000 courses such as web development, project management and digital marketing.
Therefore, working professionals can upgrade their skills using courses offered on this platform and receive certification, which they can add to their profile to showcase their expertise.
The platform has one plan that goes for $29.99 per month, and you will access more than 13,000 courses and mobile support.
- The platform has experienced instructors in a real-world work environment; thus, they prepare relevant content.
- The site has a standard layout, and a student can find everything they want easily for they are all where they should be.
- A learner can take courses in every step of their career and use the certificate to improve their resume on the platform.
- LinkedIn offers a one-month free trial to help you familiarize yourself with the platform before subscribing to its courses.
- The platform has offline viewing options, quizzes, as well as recommendations.
- The platform offers a certificate that isn’t accredited; thus, you can’t use it outside the platform.
The platform is for creating, editing and reordering of step-by-step courses online. Some of the useful tools in this platform are Infusionsoft, MailChimp and payments are made through PayPal and Stripe, and there are no transaction charges.
You can send email announcements to several users, copy content in the previous course, and stream audio and videos. Additionally, the platform allows you to display PPT, PDFs and other files.
An instructor can invite participants or even remove them from the course and has a 14 days trial period to help get familiarized with the platform features.
The platform has three plans that are billed either monthly or annually.
- Bootstrapper is a single instructor plan with unlimited courses and students and is priced at $99 per month.
- Up-and-comer offers a single instructor with unlimited students, courses, webinars, data hosting, audio and video at $149 per month.
- University plan offers a domain, multiple instructors and managers, unlimited students, courses, webinars, audio, video and data hosting all at $199 per month.
- Ruzuku doesn’t charge a transaction fee.
- It has a global content delivery network that helps instructors to offer their content to learners in different parts of the world.
- There is a daily backup of information; thus an instructor can access previous content for previous courses easily.
- The platform doesn’t give total control over features like headings and fonts.
- It’s relatively expensive to run.
- There is no direct contact between instructors and learners.
It’s an online platform offering entrepreneurial and creative classes to expose learners to real-world skills. Skillshare helps professionals to sharpen their skills and improve their lives. Some of the popular courses in this platform are freelance, marketing, and design. The skills that people acquire on this platform are worth the investment.
Trainers can add up to 5 skill tags in one course to enhance its visibility. On the other hand, learners can search for specific skills that they want to advance in and personalize their recommendations based on those interests.
An instructor can upload videos directly from the computer, and they will be visible by the Skillshare members. The platform has a two months free trial for all new members, after which a user moves to a premium that is charged per course either monthly or yearly. Further, instructors are given adequate support and students have an opportunity to get a scholarship when register for courses through this platform.
- Its user friendly and therefore, anyone can upload their content on this platform at ease.
- A learner can access offline learning also.
- It’s relatively cheaper than other platforms.
- A user can switch between classes.
- The platform focuses more on creative courses; thus, those seeking non-technical programs will not benefit from its content.
- Some courses have no certificates because they are uncredited.
The platform allows you to upload and organize content based on your preference. It has its payment gateways, so you don’t need to pay an affiliate. You can use different tools to handle your content, such as texts, videos and comments. It also has a check out page where you see what users are buying and the cost.
Further, you need to have knowledge of creating web pages, creating a hosting or content management system.
The platform has three pricing tiers namely;
- Basic Plancharges 5% transaction fees. Integrated affiliate marketing and email marketing, as well as monthly payouts. The plan is billed at $29 per month and billed annually.
- Professional Plan has Instant payouts, advanced theme customization, no transaction fees and sophisticated reports. The plan is billed at $99 per month and billed annually.
- Business Plan offers bulk student enrolment, priority product support, instant payout, no fees transaction fees. The plan is priced at $249 per month and billed annually.
- It’s a user-friendly platform.
- A good platform if you wish to offer free courses.
- It supports you in building your brand.
- It has a reasonable pricing option.
- Although it has a course builder with a drop and drop interface, the process of adding content is unintuitive and confusing.
- The platform not fully integrated with Dropbox and Google Drive.
The platform sells online courses and doesn’t charge commissions like other online sites. It has top-notch customer support, full functionality and no transaction fees.
Additionally, Teachery is compatible with different files and media while all your content is saved on the file storage service.
The platform offers two weeks trial period and has a single plan where users pay $49 per month or $470 per annum, thus enjoying a 20% discount.
- It has dedicated customer support.
- The platform has no transaction fees like other sites.
- The platform doesn’t reserve important features for higher plans, but instead, you can access them at all levels irrespective of the cost.
- It allows you to create your landing pages and sales pages.
- The platform has no video hosting; thus, an instructor has to use other sites such as YouTube, Vimeo and Wistia and embed them with Teachery.
- The instructor is not able to offer quizzes on this site.
- It has no discussion forums, which is a familiar feature in other platforms.
It’s a relatively new platform that offers courses to all students irrespective of their status. Treehouse has over 300 technical courses that are more inclined towards coding and development. Thus more than 80,000 students can study this platform using videos.
The platform is offering these courses in partnership with IBM Watson, Microsoft, Google developers, and Amazon Alexa. Further, it has a 7-day free trial and three plans.
- The basic plan has downloadable content, expert-led video courses, online community and interactive practice sessions at $25 per month.
- Pro plan gives access to a full library, unlimited access to bonus content, downloadable videos for offline learning and new beta tools at $49 per month.
- Techdegree allows you to create projects, build a portfolio, review real code and access real-time customer support at $199 per month.
- The platform has adapted easy teaching methods; thus, instructors can interact with learners freely.
- Instructors use clear and easy to understand graphics.
- There is unlimited access to high-quality videos and content.
- The platform has outdated courses.
- Limited choice of classes and the library is not as great as other platforms.
- Most of its contents and classes are set for beginners.
The platform is ranked among the top eLearning platform with user-friendly features, membership site integration for your lessons, has email integration and superior customer support. The platform has a one-month free trial that helps you acclimatize with it before signing into the platform.
You can create unlimited courses and sell online, has landing pages, advanced pricing options, marketing tools and advanced pricing options. You can also integrate the platform with more than 1,500 apps through Zapier.
Thinkific has four options such as;
- Free Plan has set all features for free
- Basic Plan is the starting point of course creation. The plan goes for $49 each month.
- Pro Plan is ideal for entrepreneurs that are working towards building a course business. The offer has advanced tools to help you build an exciting student experience. And it goes for $99 each month.
- Premier Plan is for experienced customers with a mission of building an education empire. It’s designed to offer online education at scale. The offer goes for $499 per month.
- You can create appealing courses on Thinkific since it’s well organized.
- You can be paid through Stripe or PayPal.
- The free option is appropriate for new tutors that are seeking to understand the platform first. The plan has minimal features, but still, it will help you launch the education material at no fee.
- You can market your content directly on the social media channels because it allows the creation of course sales widget.
- The platform is expensive when compared to its competitors.
- Thinkific is not ideal for live office hours or workshops.
- It’s not user-friendly for new tutors and experts.
The online platform allows more than 11,000 instructors to create and sell memberships, online courses, and digital products. Podia is user-friendly for a trainer who uses the drag-and-drop builder to host their content here. It’s also highly customized; thus, you take full control of your content or product.
You can use the email marketing option to send out campaigns and newsletters to your subscribers as well as automatic messages and manuals to your followers. The instructor can create countless courses and upload them to the system. It’s also possible to bundle up different products and sell them as a single item. The platform offers 14-day trial sessions to help you understand the features and select the one that fits your needs.
Podia has two price plans.
- Mover plan than has zero transaction fee and an offer of two months free. The plan is priced at $39 per month.
- Shaker plan that allows third-party code, affiliate marketing and free migration. It goes for $79 per month.
- The instructor can set up a membership plan and earn by selling products.
- It has a large bandwidth and storage; thus, it can host several videos.
- All plans have zero transaction fees.
- The platform has no vital features such as Facebook Pixel and Google Analytics that helps a trainer to track customers’ interests and interactions.
- It has no design flexibility.
The company is ranked among the best online course platform with more than 35 000 instructors and 24 million students in addition to over 80,000 courses. A person has to subscribe to become a premium instructor, and when approved, you can begin posting courses. One of the requirements is that an instructor has to create a 30minute long learning material and contain at least five lectures.
Udemy allows you to market your content internally to the 24 million users, join the platform’s affiliate marketing program that has a commission or send market emails.
The platform is free to use and host course. More so, you can publish several articles free or paid courses. The following is the pricing model.
- You will get a 97% revenue share when you market your content to your network.
- The revenue share is 50% in situations where there was no instructor coupon was used.
- 25% of instructor revenue will be shared in situations where a course sale was made through affiliate partners or paid acquisition channels.
- The platform has excellent course marketing functionality, for you are allowed to market your content to the target audience.
- It has course quality management functionality that ensures that all the content submitted through this platform is professional, marketable and innovative.
- Students are allowed to share their assignments, thus helping them to apply their training in enhancing their skills.
- The platform has limited video capturing captioning.
- There are inadequate assessments.
- Most of the courses here are meant for beginners in any area of study.
It’s a platform that supports tutors offering virtual, live, interactive online classes. WizIQ has more than 400,000 educators teaching approximately 4 million learners spread across 200 nations through virtual classrooms. The platform has leveraged on technology; thus, it has provided innovative tools that support live and interactive classes such as video streaming, discussion boards, assessments, analytics and mobile version because it’s compatible with iOS and Android devices.
Additionally, WizIQ offers a 14 day free trial to all corporate leaders and instructors that are seeking to provide virtual classes across the world. Further, the platform can be used by a company to train customers and employees through online tutorials and classes. It has a design feature that adds a professional feel.
The platform has three plans, and the billing is from $25 every month.
- Professional for an individual teacher.
- Enterprise for corporate trainers, universities and colleges.
- Pay-per-use with per-minute pricing.
- Excellent customer service support that be contacted via Skype, thus live voice support.
- It’s able to support live classrooms and creates courses easily.
- Advanced features, such as scheduling classes.
- The system is not user friendly, and one has to be tech-savvy to teach technical subjects.
- Some features are not compatible with certain systems.
My Top 7 Favorite Online Teaching Platforms
The following are the best online course platforms ranked based on their superiority.
Thinkific: It has an excellent customer support, user-friendly features and well-developed marketing tools.
Teachable: It’s a user-friendly platform that allows tutors to upload and arrange their content in a manner that students can easily see them. You can study users’ activities on the platform such as what they are buying and at what price.
LearnWorlds: It offers one the longest trial period of 30 days to familiarize yourself with the platform. A tutor can collaborate with other instructors to teach certain courses or create content on this platform at no extra charges.
LearnDash: It has advanced functionalities like the use of Focus Mode by learners to limit distractions, and Gradebook technology to evaluate students.
Kajabi: The platform has advanced tools and features such as a robust video streaming capability. It has an outstanding customer service and supports tutors using the platform to market their content through emails.
SkillShare: It’s easy to create content and upload videos from the desktop. The platform exposes users to the real world thus honing their skills while tutors are given a two months long trial to get familiar with the platform.
Udemy: It has excellent marketing functionality and a wide customer base. The course quality management functionality prevents posting of inferior quality content on its platform.
The article has provided you with a list of 18 online course platforms. Most of these platforms have trial sessions that help you to get accustomed to the site before purchasing. Therefore get familiar with these sites and check whether they meet your standards before subscribing.
You can also visit their websites for information.