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9 Best Online Course Platforms For 2022 (Compared & Reviewed)

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As per a report on Statista, the e-learning market is expected to surpass $243 billion by 2022. Higher education is steadily shifting to online classrooms, making it an excellent time for entrepreneurs to start creating, marketing, selling, and delivering online courses. 

But where do you begin? Every time there is a rising demand for something, tools to help people fulfill the demand automatically flood the market. With regards to digital courses, you now have online platforms or software solutions that could help you create your very own online course from scratch. 

What Are the Best Online Course Platforms?

Here are my top picks for the best online course platforms to use this year.

  • Thinkific.
  • Learnworlds.
  • Kajabi.
  • Teachable.
  • Podia.
  • LearnDash.
  • Ruzuku.
  • Academy of Mine.
  • WizIQ.

Top Platforms to Create and Sell Online Courses

In this post, we will check out 8 such top online course platforms to help you begin your journey.   

1. Thinkific

If an easy-to-use platform with top-notch customization features to help you create beautiful online courses is what you are looking for, Thinkific is indeed the top choice. It is a popular online platform or CMS solely dedicated to helping educators create online courses. 

Right from uploading your content, structuring the courses, protecting your content, to accepting online payments, Thinkific allows you to do all of it and much more. And the best thing is you don’t need to write a single line of code for doing all of this. It has a simple drag-and-drop builder which you can use for creating your very own online course portal. 

It allows you to add video content, audio, quizzes, PDF files, text, and other multimedia formats to help you create engaging courses for your audience. Not only this, but you also get a full suite of business tools to help you market your offerings. For instance, you can incentivize your affiliates with custom commissions, create custom email marketing campaigns, and integrate with 1,000+ 3rd party marketing apps and external businesses.  

Moreover, you can also offer membership or subscription options and even provide coupons and promotional deals to attract more audience. Thinkific platform also has powerful analytics and data tracking features to help you further improve your marketing campaigns. 

  • Pricing

Thinkific currently offers four different plans- Free, Basic, Pro, and Premier. The Free plan is to help you try the core features of the platform. You can then upgrade to the Basic plan that costs $49/month. It comes with all the basic features that you will need to create courses. The Pro plan costs $99/month and is ideal for people wanting to build an online course business. 

The Premier plan is the most expensive and costs $499/month. This is for edupreneurs wanting to create an online learning empire. It comes with all the advanced features that you will need to create and market your online education platform. 

Top Features of Thinkific

  • Drag-and-drop content creator
  • Can be used to create courses for an existing website or for creating an online learning platform with a custom domain
  • Add videos, audios, quizzes, surveys, PDFs, text, etc. 
  • Business tools for marketing your courses
  • Multiple plans to choose from  

2. Teachable

Used by more than 20,000 course creators, Teachable is the next best online course platform. Just like Thinkific, Teachable has a drag and drop builder that allows you to add video, audio, text, images, and even PDF files to create stunning courses. Moreover, you also get the option to import content directly from Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive. 

You can either create courses for an existing website or build courses as well as a custom website for your online offerings. The courses created with Teachable are fully responsive so that your students can view them across devices. You can also create quizzes and offer course completion certificates to your students. 

If you are aiming to reach international students, you also get a host of foreign language options to choose from. You can also accept international payments through PayPal, Skrill, Stripe, and other popular debit and credit cards. It comes with powerful marketing integrations, advanced pricing options, customizable sales pages, and more to help you create an engaging online platform. 

You can also create your own affiliate marketing program and even offer coupons and promotions to your students. It also has powerful built-in reporting tools to help you easily monitor the growth of your online learning platform. 

  • Pricing

Unlike Thinkific, you don’t have a free plan with Teachable. What you do have here are three different plans- Basic, Professional, and Business. The Basic plan costs $29/month and comes with all the basic features to help you create online courses. Also, there is a transaction fee of 5% on the Basic plan. 

The Professional plan costs $79/month and comes with additional features with zero transaction fees. The Business plan is for large online learning portals and costs $399/month with zero transaction fees. It comes with added features like bulk student enrolment, priority support, and more.   

Top Features of Teachable

  • Drag-and drop course and website creator
  • Power Editor to customize the HTML and CSS
  • Supports several foreign languages and international payments
  • Course compliance features
  • Customized affiliate programs 

3. LearnWorlds

If you are planning to create and sell online courses, LearnWorlds can help you make this a possibility in the most hassle-free manner. It comes with excellent analytics features, extensive sales engine, 3rd party integration options, and powerful customization options to add more engagement and interactivity to your courses. 

Rather than being simply an online software or platform to create online courses, LearnWorlds is more of an e-commerce solution to help you reach more audience and generate more revenue. It has impressive marketing tools and allows you to offer subscriptions, coupons, promotions, bundles, memberships, and more. 

You can also create your own affiliate program, build native apps for iOS and Android, and even add conversion pixels on your course pages. It comes with built-in SEO features to ensure that you rank well on search engines. You can create unlimited courses and accept payments in multiple foreign currencies. 

Analytics features include events log, tracking student progress, conversions, export data, and more so that you can have detailed insights at your fingertips. Moreover, LearnWorlds also regularly organizes webinars to help course creators take their offerings to the next level. 

  • Pricing

LearnWorlds currently offers three different plans- Starter, Pro Trainer, and Learning Center. The Starter plan costs $24/month and comes with only the basic features. Also, there is a flat $5 fee on every sale you make with the Basic plan. The Pro Trainer plan costs $79/month and comes with features like unlimited courses, no transaction fee, website builder, customizable course player, and more. 

The Learning center plan costs $249/month and has advanced features like bulk student upload, API integrations, interactive video, advanced affiliate management, and more. In case of high volume and corporate offerings, LearnWorlds also offers custom plans. 

Top Features of LearnWorlds

  • Build custom courses, sales pages, and websites
  • Powerful marketing tools
  • Extensive integration options
  • Built-in SEO for improved rankings
  • Actionable analytics

4. Kajabi

While the platforms listed above can be used by anyone, including people creating courses for the first time, Kajabi is more focused on experienced edupreneurs offering in-depth courses. Needless to say, the features too are advanced and extensive to meet the challenging needs of such online course providers. 

You get a host of stunning course themes to choose from, powerful email marketing options, digital products and upsells, blogging features, customizable checkout, and more. One of the top reasons why Kajabi is a preferred option of more than 16,000 businesses is their marketing automation features. You have options to segment your audience, send them marketing emails at a specific time based on custom triggers, and even send branded messages. 

As can be seen, Kajabi is a platform better suited to edupreneurs or businesses that already have an online presence and are looking to take their offerings forward with the help of advanced tools and features. There is also an extensive Kajabi university that you can get access to by purchasing any of the paid plans. 

Also, Kajabi does not charge any transaction fee in any of its plans. But as it is a premium platform, it is more expensive than most other course platforms listed on this post. 

  • Pricing

Kajabi offers three plans to choose from- Basic, Growth, and Pro. The Basic plan costs $119/month and comes with 3 products, unlimited landing pages, and unlimited marketing emails. The Growth plan costs $159/month and can be used to create up to 15 products. It comes with additional features like 24×7 chat support, advanced automation, affiliate program, and option to remove Kajabi branding. 

With the Pro plan that costs $319/month, you can create up to 100 products. You can create up to 3 websites and send more than 2 million marketing emails. Advanced features include a code editor to help you customize the coding of your website, course, or landing pages. 

Top Features of Kajabi

  • Premium online course platform for existing businesses and edupreneurs
  • Powerful marketing automation features
  • Unlimited marketing emails and landing pages in every plan
  • Affiliate program feature in Growth and Pro plans
  • Code editor in Pro plan for enhanced customization

5. LearnDash

WordPress is now used by even many Fortune 500 companies for creating their websites. If you do have a WordPress website and want to offer online courses, LearnDash can make this integration possible. With brands like WP Elevation, Infusionsoft, Digital Marketer, Yoast, and even the University of Florida relying on LearnDash for creating video content, it sure can be an excellent choice for you too. 

LearnDash has one of the most user-friendly drag-and-drop course builders to help you create multi-layer courses. Moreover, it is one of the few course creators that allow you to re-use the same content in different courses. Apart from the standard video, audio, and text content, LearnDash allows you to add as many as eight different question types, question banks, and more. 

You also get the option to drip feed the content where you can schedule different parts of your course to provide an improved learning experience. You can also create a grade book for your students where their scores of assignments, quizzes, etc. would be automatically tracked. With regard to monetization, you can set a one-time fee for your course, add shopping cart, accept subscriptions, memberships, and more. 

Moreover, if you are looking to build an online course marketplace like Udemy, you get all the features to create one with LearnDash. Your students can also create their user profiles, manage assignments, and even receive email notifications for better engagement. LearnDash is compatible with every WordPress theme and comes with extensive API integration options. 

  • Pricing

LearnDash is not your basic online course creator. It is an all-in-one platform that can be used to create basic courses or even something as complicated as an online course marketplace for a WordPress website. It currently offers three plans- Basic ($159/month), Plus Package ($189/month), and Pro Package ($329/month). 

The Basic plan comes with features like unlimited courses, unlimited users, drip-feed lessons, etc. for a single website. The Plus Package comes with its custom reporting tool known as ProPanel, along with all the features of the Basic plan for up to 10 websites. With the Pro Package, you get all the features of the Plus Package but for up to 25 websites.

Top Features of LearnDash

  • Powerful drag-and-drop course builder
  • Drip-feed lessons and advanced quizzing
  • Gradebook, email notifications, and course points for better engagement
  • ProPanel for advanced reporting
  • User profile, assignment management, etc. for the students

6. Podia

If you are not very good with the technical stuff and want to sell your courses online, let Podia take care of the things you don’t know. It is a one-stop-solution for creating and selling online courses, downloads, memberships, and more. The best thing about Podia is it has a simple 5-step process to help you start selling your offerings online. 

Each plan comes with free hosting and free migration. So, even if you have your offerings hosted somewhere, you can migrate the same to Podia for free. You can also create your custom website if you don’t have one. Live chat support is available 24×7 to help you throughout the way. You can use any custom URL for your website and also offer courses to international students. 

Your courses can include videos, audios, images, texts, and more. You can also customize the branding aspect of the content to grow your brand further. All the content created with Podia is fully responsive, and you can also check the live preview to check how everything looks in real-time. Just like LearnDash, you can also add drip-feed lessons, quizzes, and more. 

You can also offer memberships, subscriptions, build funnels, send newsletters, marketing emails, and even analyze the performance of your marketing campaigns right from the Podia dashboard. You can also create affiliate programs, offer multiple payment plans to your students, and even use coupons and promotions to improve your reach. 

  • Pricing

The pricing of Podia is straightforward too. There are two plans- Mover and Shaker. The mover Plan costs $39/month and comes with features like custom storefront, digital downloads, online courses, email marketing, messaging, and zero transaction charges. The Shaker plan costs $79/month and comes with additional features like blog, affiliate marketing, embedded checkout, and 3rd party coding. 

Note that while Podia does not charge any transaction fee, their payment processors do. So, do check the fee of the payment processor at the time of setting up payments. Also, there is a 14-days free trial for both the plans.  

7. LifterLMS

Just like LearnDash, LifterLMS is a WordPress LMS (Learning Management Software). If you already have a WordPress website or planning to create one for your online course offerings, LifterLMS can make everything easy and hassle-free. It can be used for creating online courses from scratch with its powerful drag-and-drop builder. 

Apart from creating courses for an already existing website, you can also create membership-based training websites with LifterLMS. It also offers complete freedom with regards to how you sell your courses or memberships. You can set your own prices, create affiliate programs, set commission for affiliate marketers, and do a lot more. 

One of the biggest USPs of LifterLMS is the feature that allows you to gamify your course offerings. The courses that you can create can have a gaming aspect to it for improved student engagement. You can add quizzes, build online student community, add assignments, and more to provide a rewarding learning experience to the students. 

LifterLMS also offers powerful integration options to help you extend the functionality of your online platform. From Zapier, add-ons, to the extensive ecosystem of WordPress plugins, you have a broad range of options to choose from. 

  • Pricing

The pricing of LifterLMS is not as simple as Podia or most other platforms listed here. You have three plans- Individual Add-ons (starting at $8.25/month), Universe Bundle ($24.92/month), and Infinity Bundle ($83.25/month) to choose from. With the Individual Add-on plan, you get the LifterLMS plugin for one active website. You can purchase all the different add-ons offered by Lifter, and the LMS plugin will be included. 

With the Universe Bundle, you get access to all the plugins offered by Lifter, including LMS plugin. It can be used for up to 5 websites and comes with added features like priority support, custom add-ons, e-commerce add-ons, marketing and CRM add-ons, and more. With the Infinity Bundle plan, you get access to all the plugins for an unlimited number of websites. 

Advanced features in this plan include private coaching, advanced video features, social learning, advanced quizzes and assignments, and more. 

Features of LifterLMS

  • Drag-and-drop builder for creating online courses or custom website
  • Supports any pricing, membership, and business model
  • Gamification of course content for improved engagement
  • Extensive integration options
  • Content protection features

8. Thrive Apprentice

Thrive is already a very popular theme store for WordPress websites. Now, if you want to offer courses on your WordPress website, their Thrive Apprentice plugin can help. It allows you to create professional online courses from scratch and offer them directly on your WordPress website without changing the theme of your website. 

The plugin is compatible with every WordPress theme to ensure complete convenience. The dashboard has a simple step-by-step process to help you create your very own online courses from scratch even if you are doing it for the first time. If you want to add membership feature to your course portal, Thrive Apprentice has built-in integration with SendOwl for the same. 

You can also control the access of your online content and even add registration feature to the courses. This way, you can only provide access to your premium offerings to the people who register on your platform. However, it is worth noting that Thrive Apprentice only comes with the basic features that one might need for creating basic courses. 

But as the advanced features are missing, Thrive Apprentice is really easy to use. If you are new to creating online courses and want to create something very basic, you should definitely try this plugin. 

  • Pricing

Thrive Apprentice is sold as a WordPress plugin. You get three different options to choose from- 1 License Pack ($67), 5 Licenses Pack ($97), and 15 Licenses Pack ($127). No matter what plan you select, you will get access to all the features, updates, and 1-year support. The only difference is in the number of websites that the plugin could be used on. 

Features of Thrive Apprentice

  • Easy-to-use plugin for adding online courses to WordPress website
  • Easy step-by-step process to start creating professional courses
  • Drag-and-drop builder for utmost convenience
  • Compatible with every WordPress theme
  • 1-click access restriction option

Making a Decision: Which Is best online course platforms to create and sell online courses

If online courses are on your mind, these are some of the best platforms you could use to create your very own digital content and even website to offer your courses. Most of the platforms or software solutions generally offer a free trial or have a free plan that you could use to experience the features of the solution. 

In case if there is no trial or free plan available with the solution you select, go for the cheapest paid plan to get a first-hand experience of the features. Only make an expensive purchase once you have thoroughly tested the platform, software, or plugin. This will ensure that you select a product that perfectly meets your requirements and helps you create great online courses.  

Lastly, One Request ....

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Manidipa Bhaumik

I love to write about WordPress Blogging, SEO, Internet Marketing & Money Making Tips. Connect with Me me on Facebook & LinkedIn or subscribe to our Newsletter for regular helpful guides.

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