Best Online Course Platforms
(reviews) 2021

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Table of Contents

What is the best Online Course Platform?

Online course platforms provide users with access to digital lessons. These online courses resemble offline lectures in many ways: a teacher provides an interesting learning experience in video, picture, text, audio and PDF files. Learners follow the software from their chosen course the same as they would be expected to in a normal classroom, by making notes, undertaking exercises and complete examinations to test their understanding and knowledge of the subject covered.

One major benefit of these online course platforms for instructors is the fact you do not have to build a new website. It is all part of the platform ………. so no need for new web hosting services or web building.

Of course this does not help you if you already have a website and want to implement a course into that website, well your in luck if you use WordPress because there is a fantastic plugin called LeanDash and it’s just been updated to version 3.0, so give it a look if you use WordPress to build your site.

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What is an Online Course Platform?

The demand for e-learning and online learning is forecasted to be triple the revenue of 2015 – e-learning will grow to $325 Billion by 2025 Could you also benefit from an online training platforms for your students?

Online Course Infographic

In a study of 1.400 educators, most agree it is self-paced and personalised learning that will dominate the classrooms of tomorrow.

This student-centered approach allows everyone to choose their own pace and educational goals based on individual interests — all guided by your online classroom and video-based learning.

Benefits of using online classroom platforms infographic

How do I choose an Online Course Platform?

Budget

Before you embark on choosing any online course platform, make sure that you can afford it. For instructors, make sure you’re able to afford the annual subscription fees charged by the cloud hosting provider. Also make sure that your intended students can afford the subscription fees charged by the instructor in order to gain access to their coursework.

Ease of use

How easy is it to navigate through the system while looking for new files and course materials?

Flexibility

Does the system allow you to access it from various devices? For instance, through a tablet, smartphone or computer without any hitches?

Customer support

Are you able to chat with customer support 24/7 and have your issues addressed immediately?

Structure and layout

Does the general outlook of the online course platform make your learning process easier by providing an efficient working environment?

Here are my top picks for 2020’s best online course platforms.

The Top Online Course Platforms

1. Thinkific Review

Thinkific is the #1 choice, it is one of the best online course platforms on the internet, which is a cloud-based LMS platform. Thinkific allows users to create and sell their online courses straight to the consumer without much of a hassle.

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Why is Thinkific an exciting online course platform?

Easy setup for those creating a course, because you have every course building tool at your disposal.

It provides a wonderful interaction platform between tutors and students

It offers a unique feature for instructors who want to market their course. This is especially good for instructors who are completely new in the market. When people do not know who you are, you definitely have to go an extra mile and introduce yourself to the masses and Thinkific has just the right feature for you.

No coding required- You do not have to be an IT wizard at all in order to use Thinkific. In fact, it is tailored for the layman who has very little IT and programming knowledge. Users are able to build a website of their own on the platform, without prior IT knowledge. Everything is made easily available for you to create a website that suits your needs.

It supports a wide variety of content formats, such as video, PDF, text, surveys, audio and much more. The idea is to ensure no user is locked out due to format preference. The system supports whichever format you prefer to use on their platform.

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What makes Thinkific stand out from other similar online course platforms?

It does not charge its users any transaction fees- all payments are checked out directly via PayPal or Stripe

It has a very user-friendly interface – even a newbie who is completely green to online Learning Management Systems will not struggle to use Thinkific.

It has one of the best help sections of how to create your course (text and video tutorials) I have ever seen, Its clear, concise and to the point.

Conclusion

Thinkific is a great online course platform for users who do not want to spend a lot of time learning concepts about how to create an online course. It offers easy to use solutions for users, which makes it ideal for both instructors and students. In a nutshell, it`s a platform that likes to keep things very simple. However, the fact that it has too many features available for use can be a bit confusing for a first time user.

2. Teachable Review

The idea of selling courses online and generating passive income sounds amazing. Teachable is one of the online course platforms that help you master it, and you will appreciate the tremendous value and quality being brought to the table. This is one of the online learning platforms that offer all the expertise, ease of use and quality you need in an incredible package. Is this really a great option however? Let’s see if this really suits your needs or not.

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Why is Teachable so good ?

Teachable has more than 20 years of experience in the e-learning industry. Their niche is focused on businesses that share education. That makes them a very distinctive service and a rather impressive one at that. On top of that, the platform comes with a lot of experience in creating formats, implementing a variety of different courses and so on. You are also able to get a hands-on experience while learning.

One of the things to enjoy about Teachable is that it has a very clean interface. You can share your ideas and push things to the next level in a creative manner. They do have a free plan that you can test out, which is great. If you go the paid route for all features, you will still need to pay $29 per month and 5% as a transaction fee for every sale.

Teachable course set up review

What are the things that make Teachable stand out?

You can make the Teachable course as simple or as complex as you want. They have a theme, navigation and pages, custom domain, blog section, custom coding and custom text. You can make this as simple or as seamless as it can be. Even creating courses with Teachable is incredible because it delivers the experience you want every time. You can easily create quizzes in the platform too and, if you want you can offer completion certificates that you create manually.

The Teachable drag and drop builder is extraordinary and everyone can start using the app without worries if they are an instructor. On top of that, this is a fully responsive system and you can easily create sales pages, forums and many other tools. They also have marketing features like bundles for example.

Conclusion

One of the top advantages of Teachable is that this is an extraordinary, high-quality system with plenty of features and high quality systems. On top of that, the amount of customizability you receive is unprecedented. It really goes to show just how amazing Teachable really is and how everyone can teach here or create extraordinary courses. Even the price is affordable. So yes, if you want to create courses quickly and with great results, then this is a wonderful option. It might take a bit of getting used to due to the overwhelming interface, but you will certainly appreciate it!

3. Podia Review

If you’re looking to sell great online courses, digital products or memberships, Podia sounds like a very good idea. It’s an all-in-one digital platform designed from the ground up with a true focus on quality and on offering customers access to the best experience on the market. But is it worth your time?

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What Podia features can you expect?

There are lots of things to like here. Aside from being able to create digital downloads and online courses or memberships, you can also add webinars in there too. You can create your own affiliate marketing campaign and you can also have instant payout without the need of any fees. Customers will like that, because it makes the entire process simpler and more resilient. Plus, there’s non stop support and free migration from another platform if you want to sell here. It’s nice that you can just test things out for around 14 days before you commit.

Creating a course

Based on our experience with Podia, creating a course is actually pretty seamless and convenient. You can get the job done pretty fast, they don’t continually increase the waiting time, and the experience itself is pretty immersive and interesting. You can add files, links, even quizzes if you want. The entire focus is on making the course very appealing, and you start with a blank slate, then you customize whatever you see fit. It’s definitely worth your time.

Podia course settings

Marketing features

Podia has a dedicated email marketing feature that helps you promote your business online without a problem. It certainly helps a whole lot and it brings in front a very rewarding and powerful user experience. They also have messaging features, and you can create dedicated campaigns to connect with the entire customer base.

What makes Podia so user friendly?

Right from the start you will find that Podia is all about helping you make the process fast and seamless. Their interface allows you to create memberships, online courses and digital downloads very quickly. You also have access to a dedicated storefront editor where you can add all the features you want very fast and with amazing convenience. They also have widgets and sections you can add or remove to make the experience more rewarding.

Pricing

Pricing differs based on what you need. You can pay $39 per month and you will have the online course, digital download, email marketing, no fees, non stop support and unlimited everything. However, if you want embedded checkout, affiliate marketing, free migration and third party codes, you have to pay $79. There’s quite the difference, but you can choose what you want, so that’s great.

Conclusion

Podia is great if you want to create online courses with the minimum of fuss. The checkout system is simple, the interface is amazing, and you also have email marketing, not to mention you can sell digital products too. It’s a great opportunity for sure, and you will be incredibly impressed with the results. Give it a try for yourself and you will certainly appreciate the value that it can provide!

4. LearnDash Review

LearnDash is widely regarded as one of the most popular tools to create your own online course. Now it’s even better, there is a brand new version LearnDash 3.0. If you’re looking for a way to design your own course fast and with great efficiency, this will work for you. It’s a plugin for WordPress, so if you already run your own website built on WordPress you can easily add it as a plugin without a problem. You can create quizzes, lessons and courses and also assess your students. To make it even better, the platform even offers you a way to award certificates to students if you want.

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What makes LearnDash stand out from the rest?

Maybe the best thing about LearnDash is the fact that you can create unlimited online courses. Once you pay for this, you will have no limit and you can customize your courses the way you want. Yes, the customization aspect is pretty impressive and they really do a very good job at making the process seamless and incredibly convenient all the time. There’s also a wealth of controls and settings. You can charge for course access, but you can also offer some free features if you want. That’s great, it conveys a sense of innovation without rushing you in any way.

Why is LearnDash so easy to use?

The drag and drop interface is the top feature for most of us. If you want to create an online course but want to ditch the programming stuff, this really helps you. There’s a lesson editor like Gutenberg which is pretty fun, and they even allow you to reuse course content from one course to the other.

Another thing we like here is the focus mode. This removes some of the problematic things in order to convey a sense of quality and value. People love this approach since it helps them learn without worries.

You can also add documentation if you want. It’s obviously not something mandatory, but if you’re looking to make your courses better, documentation can be a good thing to add. On top of that, there are reporting features too in case you want to see just how much people learned, the income you got and so on.

LearnDash page builder review image

Pricing

They have a basic package for $199, a Plus package at $229 and a Pro package at $369. You may choose one over the other based on the features you need. Normally what you get for the higher tiers is support for multiple websites and a Pro panel. Other than that, you will be fine with the basic option.

Conclusion

Is LearnDash a good option? Yes, this is one of the best online course platforms that you can use as a plugin for WordPress on the market. It’s incredibly easy to use, comprehensive and it brings in front a whole lot of value and quality for the money. We recommend you to give it a try if you want a very good way to create your online courses fast. The interface is very professional, and overall there’s a whole lot of quality for the money!

5. Kajabi Review

Sometimes the simplest way to sell your courses online is via a dedicated website that empowers you with the tools you need without paying a huge amount. And that’s where Kajabi comes into play, and it’s very successful at doing that too. The thing that makes Kajabi unique is the fact that this is a platform for all kinds of businesses. If you sell digital products, courses and subscriptions, then Kajabi can empower you to do that quickly and without any possible hassle. The true focus is on value and professionalism, and they do a very good job.

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What makes Kajabi unique?

Maybe the best thing about Kajabi is that you can use it for course creation and selling, but it can also offer support for a whole lot of other feature types too. It’s designed to be creative and full of value, and you will appreciate the tremendous quality being brought to the table. The interface is also very friendly. They did a very good job at creating a system where you can start selling anything you want at your own pace.

What makes Kajabi so easy to use?

From their dashboard you can go anywhere you want, delivering the utmost attention and care without any possible worries. It can take a little bit to adapt and adjust to this, but it will be worth it since you get to share your own vision and that makes a huge difference.

It’s also nice to see that Kajabi helps you connect everything about your business in a single place. You will get to have products, marketing and the content itself in a single place. It just helps you get the job done with amazing ease and in the end it will be well worth your effort and time as well.

Kajbi user dashboard

Stand out features of Kajabi.

They allow you to get paid in your own way. The fact that you have integrations for multiple payment methods is great for both you and your customers. They pay the way they want, and it’s a seamless and effortless solution for everyone. Kajabi also has its set of analytics that you can study to see just how everything is coming together.

In fact, Kajabi even has its dedicated email system that will help you send great messages to customers. You can automate the process, integrate videos if you want and all that great stuff. These little things are important for the customer base and they will make a huge difference in the long term. You just need to know how to integrate them and adapt everything in a way that feels professional but also very natural. It might take a bit of getting used to, but it will certainly be worth it and that’s exactly what you need to go for.

Pricing

Well its not the most expensive but not the cheapest either so lets call it middle of the road. The cheapest plan they offer is $149/per month that allows you 3 pipelines and up to a 1,000 active members. In contrast their pro plan is $399/per month and allows you 100 pipelines with 20,000 active members.

Conclusion

Kajabi is a very interesting LMS and it can be one of the top solutions for selling your courses. It’s a creative platform with lots of fun features and people will appreciate it quite a bit. Plus, the design is great, you have analytics and you can sell a vast range of products aside from courses. All of that makes it well worth the effort!

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