Online learning is on the rise, and more & more people want to learn new skills from the comfort of their own homes. In fact, the e-learning industry is expected to grow by 250% by 2026. So, if you’ve been thinking about creating an online course, there’s never been a better time than now.
As a result of the unprecedented increase in demand and rapidly developing technology, more and more online course platforms are becoming available.
On the one hand, that’s great news. But on the other hand, having too many choices can result in confusion and make you wonder, “What is the BEST platform for course creators?!”
Now, here’s the thing.
There’s no ONE best platform to create and sell your online courses.
What is best for you depends on a large number of factors, from the type of program you’re selling to how extensive you want your marketing campaigns to be.
In this article, we’ve compiled a detailed list of leading course creation platforms — both new ones and the ones that have been around for a while — so you can figure out what the best choice is for YOU. Grab your favorite beverage and let’s dive in!
Teachable claims to help you “easily create and sell courses, coaching, and digital downloads with their powerful yet simple no-code platform,” and that’s exactly what they do.
Teachable offers an easy setup, a drag-and-drop builder to upload videos, audio clips, and PDF templates, plus an online community feature. This platform is mostly geared toward video content and can be a great choice for beginners because of its clean interface. But don’t let the fact that it’s suitable for beginners deter you – there are many multi-millionaire course creators who use and recommend this platform.
Here’s why I personally like Teachable:
- Video hosting capability
- Intuitive & user-friendly course builder, no coding skills required
- Direct integration with popular tools such as Zapier, Mailchimp, and ConvertKit
- Opportunities to add your own branding & customizations to your landing page/sales page
- Decent learning management features, such as comments, quizzes, and certifications of completion
Teachable is one of the most affordable course creation platforms out there. You can get started with the free plan which allows you to host one published product of each type (course, coaching, or downloads). There are two other price plans available, the Basic one for $39/month and the Pro one for $119 per month.
The free plan is a solid way to try Teachable out, but you’ll eventually want to move to at least the Basic plan in order to take advantage of the paid features.
Katra is a functional, all-in-one tool that allows you to do much more than just host your online course. You’ll also be able to create a multi-page sales funnel, do email marketing, and design the landing page for your course. Creating a course goes beyond building engaging materials — and the Karta team understands that.
This is a great option for an edupreneur who wants to have everything in one place. If you’re on a budget, Katra can also help you save money because you wouldn’t need to play for multiple tools and platforms.
That said, Katra doesn’t have the most aesthetically pleasing or modern design, so it may not be the best fit if your audience is very visually-oriented.
Here’s why I like Kartra:
- Robust, all-in-one platform with video hosting, a website builder, automations and e-mail marketing tools
- Templates to create new landing pages, emails, checkout pages, and opt-in forms
- Advanced analytics like Heatmaps — so you know where visitors spend time on your opt-in page
- Great affiliate tools for people that have affiliate programs
Katra offers multiple price plans to choose from. The Starter plan comes with a custom domain and the ability to host 100 pages, 50 videos, and 2 membership sites, among other features. It costs $1 for 14 business days and then automatically upgrades you to $99/month. Silver, Gold, and Platinum plans cost $199/month, $299/month, and $499/month respectively.
With over 300k+ products created and counting, Kajabi is an all-in-one business platform that’s popular for a reason. Well, multiple reasons.
Kajabi promises that it’ll “turn your knowledge into income” and delivers on that promise with robust features like fully-integrated course websites, dynamic landing pages, email marketing, automated marketing funnels, and more. It has everything you need to make your learning experience stand out and help you grow your business.
Kajabi also has a comprehensive training hub called the Kajabi University to help you master Kajabi features, create a successful online course, and scale your business.
Here’s why I like Kajabi:
- Free AI tool to help you with course outlines, lesson content, and landing page copy
- Modern design & clean interface – this platform is very easy for students to navigate
- 0% revenue fees (but you still need to cover your payment processor’s transaction fees)
- Free resources to help you master the platform
- Seamless integrations with Pay Pal, Stripe, ActiveCampaign, Zapier, and more
Kajabi is quite expensive, but you get a lot of bang for your buck. The Basic plan is $149/month and comes with 3 products, 3 funnels, and unlimited landing pages and marketing emails. The Growth plan costs $199/month and upgrades you to 15 products and 15 funnels, among other features. The most comprehensive Pro plan is $399/month.
Kajabi is the platform I use in my business and you can use this link to get a free 30-day trial
Thrive Cart Learn
Although ThriveCart Learn does not have its own video hosting capabilities, it can be a logical and budget-friendly way to host your course…especially if you already have ThriveCart
ThriveCart is a shopping cart software that helps you simplify checkout & payment processes for your course business, and the ThriveCart Learn system is already included in your ThriveCart purchase. As a result, you’ll get a checkout system and a course hosting platform all in one!
Here’s why I like ThriveCart Learn:
- Easily add course content and customize your course layout
- Create product bundles
- Excellent checkout page customization and functionality – people claim they convert more sales using ThriveCart checkout pages.
ThriveCart Learn Pricing
There are two versions of ThriveCart Learn available. The basic Learn system comes for free with your ThriveCart purchase ($495 one-time payment) but you can also upgrade to the Learn+ system by paying an additional fee.
Another all-in-one course creation, marketing, and sales platform on this list, New Zenler claims to be the first-ever platform built around sales & marketing. It offers 10+ tools in one software and allows you to do course creation, marketing, email automation, page design, community hosting, and live classes & streaming.
Similar to Kajabi and Katra, New Zenler aims to give you all the tools you need in one place to successfully grow your course business but has a more minimalist feel to it. You don’t need to have any design skills or coding knowledge to use New Zenler.
- Supports various types of course content including video, audio, PDF, and quizzes
- Create lead magnets & video series, no technical skills are required
- Email marketing automation features
- Drag & drop builder
- Social network-style community so your students can ask questions & interact
New Zenler Pricing
New Zenler currently offers two price plans, a Pro and a Premium. The Pro plan costs $647/year (with a more expensive monthly plan available) and comes with unlimited courses, unlimited students, and three sites. The Premium plan is significantly more expensive with a price tag of $1,447/year.
Creating & hosting an online course is the first step, but how do you get your students to actually engage with the material and complete the lessons? Completion rates for online courses range between 5% and 15%, but finding the right platform to create and sell online courses can help you improve that statistic.
Xperiencify is a new kind of a platform for course creators based on gamification. It allows you to turn the learning process into a gamified experience with features like points, variable rewards, countdowns & self-destructing content, leaderboards, and more.
Xperiencify is not just a course creation & hosting platform. It also includes a full-featured CRM to manage your students, e-commerce solutions, and a page builder, among other tools.
- Gamification features to make your students engage with course material
- New alternative to Kajabi, Katra, and other all-in-one platforms
- Helps you improve course completion rates
Building your online course is free on Experience and you only pay when you go live. Once you’re ready to launch, choose from the Starter plan ($49/month), Growth plan ($99/month), Pro plan ($149/month), and Premium plan ($299/month). The features Xperiencify offers are quite robust and the pricing is a good deal compared with other platforms.
If you’re using WordPress in your business, AccessAlly can be a great option for you particularly if you are interested in gamification and providing an engaging experience for your students
AccessAlly has a large variety of features that allows you to sell your offer more, teach better, and engage your students more effectively. Some of the LMS features include 1-click upsells and order bumps, progress tracking, assignment submission, gamification & points system, and engagement metrics.
AccessAlly has an impressive Results & Client Showcase page where you can read stories of other entrepreneurs and learn their reasons for switching to AccessAlly from other platforms
- Features to gamify your curriculum & engage your students more
- Extensive integrations with PayPal, ConvertKit, Stripe, Zapier, and more
- Recurring subscriptions, built-in affiliate plugin, membership management, and other strong sales features
- Great customer support
Access Ally Pricing
AccessAlly has three price plans and each of them is available as a yearly or a monthly subscription. The Essentials plan costs $99 per month when billed monthly or $82 per month when billed annually. It comes with 1 site license, unlimited courses and memberships, training calls, and most of the features minus the built-in learning management system.
The Pro plan costs $129 per month when billed monthly and $108 per month when billed annually and includes the built-in learning management system. The highest plan, AccessAlly Community, also includes unlimited community groups, discussion threads, and email or web notifications. It costs $149 per month when billed monthly and $124 per month when billed annually.
One of the most important decisions you can make as a course creator is picking the right platform to host — and potentially market — your course.
It’s important to remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all or “best platform” when it comes to online learning. Some edupreneurs may prefer an all-in-one platform like Kajabi while others will be happy with a powerful WordPress plugin like AccessAlly. Take some time to explore different options and figure out what works for YOU. And if you need any help with setting up your platform, connect with us to learn about our partner agencies and tech experts.
Already know what platform you want to use and now want to create an industry-leading curriculum?
DB Course Strategies offers done-for-you creation services for entrepreneurs who’re ready to illuminate their expertise and scale their profit with ease. Learn more here!
*Pricing and features in this article are based on July 2023 information and are subject to change.