15 Platforms to Publish and Sell Online Courses (and Counting)

Looking to sell online courses, but confused by all of the platform choices? This post highlights some of the top online course platforms and helps you narrow your list. While you are here, be sure to grab the free platform selection guide to help you make the right choice faster and smarter. And, if you are ready to create online courses and other online education content, be sure to check out the free Learning Revolutionary's Toolbox!

Image of e-commerce related to sell online courses and online course platforms

To sell online courses, it used to be that you had to master an authoring tool, license a learning management system (LMS) – or come up with a workaround – figure out hosting and e-commerce, and then somehow deal with end user support. These days, you can get across the finish line with little more than the digital video camera in your phone, an Internet connection, and one of the platforms listed here.

In this post, I draw on two decades of experience working with online course platforms to narrow down the options and take a quick look at some of the best of what’s out there for helping you create, market, and sell online courses on the Web.

Online Course Platforms

Listed here are more than 15 online course platforms specifically designed to help you market and sell online courses. These have been organized into categories to make it easier to determine which type of online course platform may be best for your purposes. These include:

Keep in mind that number of online course platforms is growing fast. There is no way I can keep up with or know about every one of them. Be sure to check out the comments for additional choices and opinions. And if you have had experience with one of the platforms, please share anything constructive you can about the experience – i.e., what was good or bad about it and WHY. (You can comment on this post, or contact me directly.)

Also, keep in mind that, while I think all of these are strong choices, I don’t specifically endorse any of these platforms. If a company has an affiliate program, I will usually participate – that doesn’t cost you anything, and I don’t see why I shouldn’t get at least a little benefit from sending some business to a company. That said, within each category below companies are listed alphabetically, not ranked. I have vetted them at a very high level to make sure they seem like a good fit for subject matter entrepreneurs and smaller education and training businesses that want to sell online courses. Again, I encourage you to comment and share any experiences you have had with these platforms – good or bad.

Finally: If you are serious about making the right platform choice, you really should get my free guide and selection worksheet

Thinkific image - one of my recommended online course platformsWhile I don’t endorse specific platforms (see above), I do understand that the range of choices can be confusing and it can be helpful for an expert to just say “look at this one, it’s a top choice” if you want to sell online courses. So, here’s one of my top choices: Thinkific. Check it out. You can create a free course right away and they are very upfront about their pricing and about how the different plans compare. Most importantly, I hear consistently from readers that that they have had a good experience with Thinkific. – Jeff

Standalone Platforms to Sell Online Courses

These are platforms geared toward individual subject matter entrepreneurs or small businesses that want a relatively turnkey way to create their own branded site to sell online courses. (Also, unlike Udemy, which is discussed below in a different category, they allow you full control over your user data.) While the feature sets are relatively similar, they can be very different in their “look and feel” as well as in how focused they are on helping course entrepreneurs succeed – e.g., by providing good resources, educational content, strong support. Be sure to check out the free trial options, where available, so that you have a chance to kick the tires before committing.

Click4Course

A relatively new addition to this list of online course platforms, Click4Course compares well with well-established platforms like Teachable and Thinkific and seems strong in its testing, survey, and certificate capabilities. It also offers the interesting feature of being able to configure whether a site is displayed for internal training – in which case a login screen is presented – or selling courses – in which case a catalog is presented. There’s a 30-day free trial (no credit card required) and the month fee is $65, if paid annually, for unlimited learners plus a 10% processing fee per course sold.

Link: http://www.click4course.com/

Digital Chalk

Digital Chalk offers a variety of plans for getting courses online. Also worth noting is the fact that the platform does support the Shareable Content Object Reference Model, or SCORM, meaning you can create standards-compliant courses outside of the platform and import them. (Note: As far as I can tell, Digital Chalk and Educadium are the only platforms listed in this section that offer any off-the-shelf support for SCORM.) The company’s lowest price plan starts at $25 per month plus $8 per course.

Link: http://www.digitalchalk.com

Educadium

With its CampusPay LMS services Educadium offers a way to add a simple e-commerce solution to its EasyCampus platform so that you can sell online courses. EasyCampus is, indeed, an easy platform on which to get up and running, but is nonetheless a relatively feature-rich LMS with a range of options for adding on features and services that fit your needs. Pricing for the platform starts at $99 per month and e-commerce fees range from 6.5% to 10% of sales, depending on which subscription package you choose.

Linkhttp://www.educadium.com/campuspay

LearnWorlds

LearnWorlds positions itself as a “premium” option that provides for high interactivity, social learning tools to complement standard course content, and white labeling. The company also puts a lot of emphasis on its tools for building sales pages for courses – and these do indeed seem impressive. You can even test them out without signing up through a simulator that LearnWorlds provides. You can try it free for 30 days (no credit card required), then pricing starts at $24 per month, billed annually, but the company also charges $5 per sale. So, be sure to do the math – it could add to a good bit more than other platforms here.  Still, looks like a very good option, deserving of the “premium” label.

Link: https://www.learnworlds.com/

Pathwright

I had the pleasure of interviewing Pathwright co-founder Paul Johnson on the Learning Revolution podcast, and he also connected me with Jason Blumer, who has used the Pathwright platform with great success. The starter plan – which allows for 10 active learners (more can be added) – is $19 a month, and Pathwright does not charge any e-commerce fees (though your gateway – e.g., Stripe – still does, as usual).

Link: http://www.pathwright.com/

Ruzuku

One of the things I really like about Ruzuku is that they put a LOT of effort into helping subject matter entrepreneurs use their platform successfully – including everything from designing a great course, getting it online, and marketing it effectively. Their “Up and Comer Plus” plan also includes unlimited Webinars.  If you are looking for an easy-to -use platform combined with a soup-to-nuts approach to helping you be successful with it, this is a great option. I recommend you sign up for their free trial today to give you an idea of what the platform can do.

Link: http://ruzuku.com/

Teachable

Teachable got started out of frustration with Udemy (listed below) – in particular, with the way in which Udemy controls information about and access to students. In response, the Teachable team has created a platform that enables you to “host courses on your website and control your branding, student data, and pricing all from one place.” I like the pricing model they offer. You can use the platform for free and pay $1 + 10% for all transactions. Or, you can choose to pay a monthly fee, which eliminates the $1 per transaction fees and also reduces the percentage paid to Teachable based on what level of monthly fee you choose. If you are ready to get started with online courses (or already have, but are looking for new technology), be sure to check out the free Teachable Quickstart Webinar (offered weekly on Thursdays).

Link: https://teachable.com/

Thinkific

Thinkific provides a full-featured solution to help you create, deliver, and market and sell online courses – including a $0 starter plan (based on taking a 10% commission on your sales). A big vote of confidence for this platform is that my friend Dorie Clark – a bestselling author multiple-times over, guest on the Learning Revolution podcast, and generally very smart and business savvy person – is using it for the online course she is currently developing. Similar to Teachable above, you can use Thinkific completely free and then pay a 10% fee on all transactions. Or, you can pay for a monthly plan and get your transaction fees all the way down to zero. Definitely worth checking out.

Link: https://www.thinkific.com/

Zippy Courses

Originally developed as WordPress plug-in, Zippy Courses is now a standalone platform. The person behind is Derek Halpern, who is well-know and respected marketer who certainly knows a thing or two himself about how to create and sell online courses. I’ve participated in a couple of courses that use Zippy Course (one was Derek’s, another by a well-known course development coach who pitches Teachable in the program, but is actually using Zippy Courses to deliver it). All in all, a very solid platform that will get you up and running – and, of course, selling online courses – quickly. Pricing starts at $99 per month with no transaction fees.

Linkhttps://zippycourses.com

Thinkific image - one of my recommended online course platformsWhile I don’t endorse specific platforms (see above), I do understand that the range of choices can be confusing and it can be helpful for an expert to just say “look at this one, it’s a top choice” if you want to sell online courses. So, here’s one of my top choices: Thinkific. Check it out. You can create a free course right away and they are very upfront about their pricing and about how the different plans compare. Most importantly, I hear consistently from readers that that they have had a good experience with Thinkific. – Jeff

All-In-One Platforms

This category of online course platforms provides everything you need not just for offering online courses, but also for managing your full Web presence. They combine elements of a Web content management system (CMS) with marketing and customer relationship management tools (CRM).

Academy of Mine

While they stop a little short of being the same breed of “all in one” system represented by platforms like Rainmaker and Kajabi. The Academy of Mine folks are very focused on blending marketing tools with learning tools in the administrative interface for their system,  I have gotten feedback from some users that the learning curve to get up and running on the system is pretty steep (which can be true of all-in-one systems in general). That said, if you can make your way up the curve, you will have pretty powerful set of tools at your disposal. Pricing starts at $199 a month.

Link: http://www.academyofmine.com

Kajabi

Kajabi describes itself as “the one system you need to market, sell, and deliver your knowledge online.” As it happens, selling online courses is a big part of the equation. Along with courses, you’re able to sell memberships, training portals, file downloads, and pretty much any other digital product you can come up with. For many people who just want to sell an online course – and who are already set with a Web site and marketing tools – this may be overkill. Then again, if you don’t have those things or simply want to get everything under one roof, Kajabi may be just the ticket. There’s a free 14-day trial (credit card required), and pricing starts at $129 a month ($103 if paid annually).

Linkhttps://newkajabi.com/

Marketplace Online Course Platforms

These are some online course platforms that, in addition to providing ways to author/assemble courses, also provide an existing marketplace in which to sell online courses. (Note: I’ve started to expand on this list in my post Looking for an Alternative to Udemy?)

Coggno

With Coggno, you can create courses or upload existing content – including SCORM files. You also have the option to deliver these courses privately or to distribute them through the Coggno marketplace. Coggno also provides the useful twist of enabling organizations to use a branded instance of the Coggno platform for free to offer courses to their target audience (e.g., employees, members) – thus providing yet another distribution option for your content. Organizations that use the LMS in this way pay only for the content they use. For course developers looking to sell their content, pricing starts at $24.95 per month plus 10% of sales.

Link: http://coggno.com/lms/sell-courses

OpenSesame

If you happen to be an expert, or manage experts (e.g., if you represent a training firm or association) that is developing offerings at this level of sophistication,OpenSesame might be the first place you want to check out. You can also upload video, and the company claims that courses published in its system can be accessed by any learning management system (LMS). So, for example, if you know there are businesses out there that would want your content, but are going to want it on their own LMS, this could be a very powerful option. The company takes 40% of any sales you make through its platform.

Link: https://www.opensesame.com/sell-online-elearning-training-courses

ProProfs

ProProfs give you tools to add media, quizzes, and certificates to your existing documents, videos & presentations – and then put them into a market place that the company claims reaches more than a million users. Monthly packages start at just under $75 ($60 if you commit to a year) and the company takes 9.5% off of sales through its marketplace.

Link: http://www.proprofs.com

Skillshare

Skillshare provides instructors with tools to create courses composed of video lessons and a “class project.” (All classes are have these two elements.) Classes are normally 10-25 minutes long, broken down into short videos, and they are all pre-recorded and self-paced. Once you have enrolled more than 25 learners in a class, you become eligible for participation in Skillshare’s Partner Program and can earn money through the royalty pool managed by the company – usually $1-2 per enrollment, according to the company. (Unlike Udemy – discussed below – Skillshare sells subscriptions to all of its content rather than to individual courses.) Once you are a partner, you’ll also get compensated for new Premium Members ($10 per) you bring to Skillshare through your Teacher Referral link. The Skillshare site reports that “Top teachers make up to $40,000 a year.”

Link: https://www.skillshare.com/teach

Udemy

The folks at Udemy say “Our goal is to disrupt and democratize education by enabling anyone to learn from the world’s experts.” From what I can tell, they have been doing a pretty good job at it. The Udemy platform gives subject matter experts a simple, straightforward way to assemble content like PowerPoint slides, PDF documents, and YouTube videos into a coherent course experience. You can then publish into the Udemy marketplace and use a variety of tools to promote your masterpieces. Udemy is free for instructors – the company makes it’s money by keeping 50% if it sells your course. If you make the sale, you keep 97% (Udemy takes a 3% transaction fee). Keep in mind that your are currently required to price your courses in $5 increments between $20 and $200 on Udemy (source) – quite restrictive, in my opinion. Even so, ThinkTraffic reports that some some instructors have been having quite a bit of success.

Link: http://www.udemy.com/teach

WizIQ

For experts who want to deliver live and on-demand Webinars, WizIQ is an old standby. The company provides a platform through which you can easily offer a live Webinar session – with slides, desktop sharing, audio, and video – that can also be recorded for on-demand access by learners. Courses can be published and sold in WizIQ’s online marketplace. WizIQ does also plug-ins for Moodle, Sakai, Blackboard Learn – popular learning management systems in the academic world. While I have placed WizIQ here under “Marketplace” platforms, it does have a very academic feel to it and could just as easily be in the “Enterprise | Academic” section below. There’s a free 30-day trial, and then paid plans start at $33 a month (billed annually) plus a 5 percent per transaction fee of use of WizIQ’s payment gateway. (It’s unclear from the Web site whether you can use your own gateway.)

Link: http://www.wiziq.com/

Finally, while not as open an option as the above platforms, it is worth noting that Lynda.com does accept proposals from instructors who want to offer a course on its platform.

(Again, see my post Looking for an Alternative to Udemy? for other options in this category.)

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Small Business – Extended Enterprise Platforms

Most of the online course platforms listed here are geared towards solopreneurs or small, start-up businesses. While they can work for larger businesses, I’ve found over time that more established training and education companies may want to jump up to a different level to get a system that really meets their needs. For a full range of options, check out Learning Management System for Small Business.

(Note: The online course platforms listed on that page are not out of the question for solo entrepreneurs, but they are probably a better fit, in most instances, for small-to-mid-sized businesses that are doing/planning a relatively high-volume of course sales (or big businesses, but those aren’t really a target for this site).

Also, if you happen to represent a trade or professional association, the best list for you is the association LMS list at Tagoras.

Plug-Ins /Add-ons to Sell Online Courses

Some of the most popular open source platforms have plug-ins available to enable you to sell online courses. I plan to expand this area into a separate post soon, but in the meantime, here are some key choices:

CourseMerchant

If you happen to have already gone down the Moodle path (widely used open source LMS) for your course delivery needs, then you may want to check out CourseMerchant. While Moodle itself provides a very basic e-commerce option, CourseMerchant helps you take things to a much more sophisticated level – including the ability to bundle courses, offer discounts, and sell multi-seat licenses that allow for the seats to be easily allocated to learners. The CourseMerchant folks are also behind CourseIndex.com, a network that enables you to promote and sell online courses through affiliate marketers.

Link: http://www.coursemerchant.com/
Link: http://www.courseindex.com/

LearnDash

Like LifterLMS, LearnDash is a very feature rich system that was clearly developed by people serious about e-learning (and the founder, Justin Ferriman, does have a long background in e-learning). Unlike Lifter, the basic version is not free – pricing starts at $159 for the basic version and tops out at $329 for the Pro version. Keep in mind, though, that this is a one-time fee.

Once you’ve got a license, LearnDash offers a range of integrations and add-ons –WooCommerce, bbPress, Stripe, and Zapier, among many others – for free. And there are also a number of premium add-ons – including a connection to the GrassBlade LRS (for you e-learning geeks out there) – that look quite useful. Overall, this is serious e-learning at a very reasonable price.

Link: http://www.learndash.com/

LifterLMS

If you already use WordPress to manage your home base, them you may want to seriously consider a WordPress LMS plug-in to create and sell online courses. LifterLMS has the very strong selling point of being free. You pay only if you sign on for “Pro” program, which provides for a much higher level of support (which, for $149 per year, seems well worth it). Lifter’s creators are very tuned into the recent trends in gamification and have made badging and certificate capabilities a major feature of the system.

The systems also offers a range of pre-made integrations (e.g., Mailchimp, Stripe) and add-on services. You have to pay for these, and the fees can add up quickly. Even so, the total price for putting LifterLMS Pro and a full range of integrations and add-ons into place is far below what you might pay for a standalone LMS platform. It’s also worth noting that Lifter has some very nice “Done For You” service options that can really jump start your efforts to get up and running with online courses.

Link: https://lifterlms.com/

If you want a WordPress plug-in that will empower you to sell online courses, definitely check out LifterLMS

**

If you have used/had success with any of these online course platforms, or have others you would like to see on the list, please comment and share. Also, if you found this page useful, please consider sharing it with others by using the social buttons below.

Jeff

P.S. – If you haven’t already, definitely grab the free selection guide for online course platforms. It costs noting, and it will help you make the right choice faster and smarter.

Also, if you liked this post, you may also like:

Comments

  1. Tiffany says:

    These are some good options. However, where can we find partners to help create the content or build courses for us?

    • That’s a very different topic, but stay tuned – I plan to publish something on it very soon and will update this response when I do. – Jeff

  2. Ivexe Video is the best for selling videos including a series, attachments, call to action and more; and, you get a 100% royalty!

  3. Just wondering, does anyone know of any new online course software packages similar to LearnDash [but not Learndash] that are more like a stand-alone program with a one time fee?

    thanks!

  4. Hi Jeff,
    I was looking for some useful Online Courses online and suddenly found your post. You have shared very useful information about the online course platforms which will surely make the process of choosing easier for everyone.

    Each platform is described in detail and I also appreciate that you’ve encouraged everyone to share their online platforms at your blog post. This way, people looking for online training can get an excellent and wide selection of the latest platforms that provide online courses. Also, big thanks for keeping this useful list updated.

    Here, I want to share a platform which provides useful business, computer, safety, banking, management, leadership and several other useful courses.

    The link for the website is https://www.knowledgecity.com/

    Hope you check it out!

  5. Lindsey Mercer says:

    This is a wonder post and has truly crystallized everything for me. I will be creating some video based courses and just need a “no frills” platform that enables me to enter this territory without breaking the bank. I was originally thinking of setting up everything through WordPress but am now gravitating towards Thinkific. My question is this…
    Let’s say I start with Thinkific but a year from now ultimately decide to shift over to another platform like WordPress / Learndash or Kajabi. What are the potential risks and repercussions of doing this? Is it not that big of a deal or is it not advisable? My thoughts are this. As long as you can export the customer list from the old system (with their passwords) and then import it into the new system you are fine. But I am not sure if most systems support this. Any input is appreciated.

    • Lindsey – I actually just published a post related to your question: http://www.learningrevolution.net/move-my-online-course/

      Really, it comes down to the nature of your content and how much you rely on the tools contained within any specific platform to create your courses. If you rely on those tools heavily, then you will have to redo quite a bit when you go to a new platform. Maybe not a big deal if you don’t have a lot of courses and the courses you have aren’t all that large. But it could be a big deal if that is not the case.

      As far as dat goes, with most platforms you will be able to export the names and e-mail addresses of your customers, but there is a very good chance you would not be able to simply export passwords and import them into your new system. This would require a more complex level of migration (unless you have the tech skills) will probably require some help. That said, it is often possible to import the names and e-mails and then have people reset their passwords to simply establish a new password in the new system.

      Jeff

  6. Re: All-in-one platforms
    (eg Rainmaker, Academy Mine…)

    After taking a subscription of any type of these platforms – what will happen to the website, domain and contents upon cancellation? Are they easily transferable?

    E.g. because I’ve learnt to make my own website and features and can do so without paying expensive subscription fees? Or I find cheaper prices else where?

    Thanks

    • Ally – The domain remains in your control always. You would just point it to your new site. Content is a bigger question. The ones that are WordPress-based would technically have an export functionality for all of the content and you should be able to get a copy of the database – all of which would you allow to set most if it back up in another WordPress installation. But there is definitely a lot of devil in the details – so, be sure to ask about this up front and make sure you feel confident you will be able to get your content out in a usable form. (Keep in mind that, when you build courses in a proprietary delivery platform, as opposed to in a separate authoring tool, you are almost always going to have to do some re-constructing when you switch to a new site.) – Jeff

  7. Very glad to have found this post! I am an Apple consultant and instructor for legal professionals and I teach tech courses for which the students/viewers receive CLE credits for completing. My courses are pre-recorded videos, 1 – 4 hours in length and ready to upload. I have been scouring around trying to find a good platform that can do a few things I need:

    1: Collect payment at registration
    2: Provide on-demand viewing 24/7
    3: Confirm the course was completed prior to delivering a closing email or certificate with accreditation number
    4: Integrate with my existing website (optional but desired)

    Does anyone know of anything that might be a good fit? I have sold on Udemy before for consumer level, non-credentialed courses and I have been tinkering with Thinkific which I like very much, but they do no limit the ability for the viewer to simply skip to the end of the video as pretend they completed it. Otherwise, Thinkific might be ideal but without that sort of control over content consumption, it’s a deal breaker for me.

  8. I wanted to set up all our courses with Academy Mine a couple of years ago. We have one large 12 part course and 15 smaller (4 part) courses and over 200 students. I paid someone else to set it all up and learn how to use it as I just didnt have the time myself. It took 6 months of paying this person a wage of $500 per week (around 2 grand a month) and around $200 a month for the platform. Six months and over $13,000 spent setting it up , on the day we launched the whole platform crashed as it turned out out courses and resources were just too big. Now I use online classrooms I create myself using web pages and downloadable PDF content. Students email their course work submissions to me. It works and costs nothing but I often wish for a more streamlined way to complete assessments.

  9. Hi guys! I can’t believe you haven’t cross with TEACHLR.COM it would be great if you can add it to the list!
    For any questions please write us to info@teachlr.com

    • Hi! There are plenty of marketplaces for recorded courses but does anyone have leads for live, realtime courses marketplace. Meaning where you can offer/sell “live”-not recorded-courses?

      I’ve found Currclick and Outschool so far and I think Teachable is one as well.

      Any others any of you could provide would be appreciated.

      Thanks!

  10. Hi, looking for advice on which site to list a Personal Development course – we sell the course via our website and its all set up and ready to go so we don’t need Course Creation tools like quite a few of the sites seem to want you to use. So we are looking for new places to sell our ready made course online to gain a wider audience and sales. Any recommendations and wise words for us?

    Many thanks in advance!

    K

  11. Hi Jeff,

    Great list! Thanks! I was wondering if you could add / review our platform as well for the creation of mobile courses: https://www.guidiance.com

    Highly appreciated! Thanks

  12. Jeff,
    You will want to update your content here, if you are not already working on this. In your review of Udemy, you say that classes must be priced between $20 and $50. According to the information on the check list for classes; “Courses must be priced in $5 increments between $20 and $200”

    https://s3.amazonaws.com/udemy-images/support/Quality+Checklist+EN.pdf

    • Thanks for chiming in with the update info – Udemy changes often enough that it can be hard to keep up. The post has been updated to reflect this info. – Jeff

  13. I am brand new to this. I did not even know there were such platforms. I have looked at some of the reviews here, but no idea which to try. There are a lot of them. The one that jumped out at me is called Teachable. mainly because of their pricing structure. Since I am just starting out, I have no idea how many classes I might sell, so I cant afford to pay a monthly and they just take a percentage of my sells. What I am looking for though are suggestions and recommendations. I dont want to invest lots of time and money into developing classes on Teachable, if its not a good platform.

    • Phillip – Hopefully some other will chime in hear with their comments. Teachable is certainly a solid platform, and I have had a number of readers give it good reviews – though some have also commented that the level of service/support could be better. In any event, I don’t think there is any doubt that they are in it for the long haul. What it really comes down to is whether they have everything you feel you really need to support both your learning and business model. If it appears they do, I’d say go for it. – Jeff

  14. We use the Academy of Mine platform for our site – http://www.gravitasacademy.com.au. We’ve found support from the AoM staff to be brilliant. They are very responsive and will make changes where possible that the big players would never make for us. Highly recommend.

  15. Thanks for this great list, and keeping it updated as well. Would you say there are any platforms better suited than others for offering courses about professional skills development?

    • Not really – it depends on the nature of the material, the learning objectives, and the audience. In theory, any of the platforms listed here could support professional skills development. – Jeff

  16. Tom Whalen says:

    I’ve been using http://www.withcoach.com for several months now and really loving it. I tried other platforms first, but theirs is easier to use.

    • Pamela Young says:

      I am checking out withcoach as well. It is the brainchild of a couple of Canadians, and all other features being equal (or better), I’d like to keep my support with my fellow Canucks.

  17. Sell Courses (External / E-commerce) Start 30 Day Trial Free
    All plans come with free custom branding, which includes your logo, a welcome banner/message area, and a background color/image. Click here for an example.

  18. Thanks for outlining all of these options. I started with Udemy just 2 months ago and It has been good but I don’t want to limit myself and https://www.udemy.com/1032110/ is not bringing in enough income that I could sustain a living off it yet. I am curious to know if any others have a community building around them where the instructors can help share students?

    • Good question. I know both Teachable and Ruzuku have strong Facebook groups for people authoring in their systems. I’m sure there would be possibilities in those for developing relationships with other instructors and promoting each others offerings. – Jeff

  19. Rodolfo Siles says:

    How about Alison, anybody had an experience with this company? I see they offer free courses but make some profit from the certificates

  20. Hi Carol, please tell us about your experiences with online course platforms. I’m actually researching which platform to start with. Thanks

  21. Hi, thanks, this is very helpful! One question: Here in Holland people use IDEAL instead of Paypal to make payments online. Do you have any suggestions on high quality e-learningsoftware that has IDEAL payments integrated?

  22. I’m just going to throw my two cents in here after seeing so much negative stuff about Udemy. While I understand the criticism related to such aspects of the platform as controlling user data and communications with students as well as some difficulties with the review process, I have had an excellent experience with them. The bottom line is, Udemy courses sell. For those of us who don’t like to do a lot of marketing or aren’t very good at it, Udemy has a huge user base and very effective marketing.

    I have tried other platforms with mixed success, but once you get their system down, which I think isn’t too complicated, you can create a good course and get it approved pretty quickly. They just have some specific requirements for your video files that they use to manage quality and standardize the service bit. I think that’s reasonable. At any rate, I just wanted to say that I have 19 courses on Udemy, with one more in the works right now, and I make more money on there per course than any other platform that I have tried BY FAR.

    • Oh, and also I have recently discovered two newer marketplaces similar to Udemy that market the courses for you and do a profit share: CyberU, and On-Ed. I am in the process of testing them, I will return to the thread to let you know my experience.

    • Thanks for chiming in, Greg. Definitely good to have diverse perspectives on this! – Jeff

  23. Your blog was really helpful 🙂 Online Learning is much easy and it saves a lot of time, well you can study as well as do other things
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  24. Hey Jeff Cobb, you done a great job at providing a well rounded list of online education websites.
    Here is another that is a great website which has allot ot offer for people starting to develop there business skills and help get there business started in just 3 days. head to the website and check it out http://bit.ly/2eYWwwz
    if you would like to do a article about this site or add it to your list that would be great. Some of the leaders in this program are Adam Cheyer Co-Founder of SIRI, Elliot Chapple Co-founder of Pozible and more.

    If you want to help grow the mentorship and community which is startupacademy.org then check it out and spread the love.

    cheers and thanks for such great content

  25. What about moodle?

    • Moodle’s a good platform, but out of the box, it’s just not something I recommend for most course entrepreneurs – the interface leaves a lot to be desired and the native sales and marketing capabilities are weak. – Jeff

      • Completely agree – I’ve heard many stories about people using Moodle and then finding that they either don’t have the time/expertise to configure things themselves, or don’t have the budget to engage a consulting firm to do it for them. Out of the box solutions are much better for small businesses as they can get started easily themselves at a relatively low pricepoint.

  26. I used Teachble to build my first school where I presently have ten courses available with ten more yet to upload. However, while I do like the way that their software makes my school look, it was pretty steep learning curve to figure out how to use it to create a school and courses since their website is not at all intuitive. In addition, I found numerous small annoyances with their software which made the process more cumbersome.

    But, the main problem with Teachable is that their advertising leads you to believe that all you have to do is build the school and students will flock to sign up! However, nothing could possibly be further from the truth!!! Fortunately, I have over twenty-five years of retail experience and thus, I knew that going in.

    However, while they do provide some learning resources with their blog and their free webinars, they do not have single resource that provides you with a complete step-by-step process for marketing your courses. Also, they fail to make it clear that marketing an online course is very different from marketing a standard web site. Thus, I had to spend numerous hours on YouTube watching instructional videos to discover that, unlike a standard web site where you build, and then publish, the site and then vie with competitors for top ranking on Google and Bing, you instead have to build a permission based e-mail list to market to. But, they also fail to provide you with the resources to accomplish that task and thus, you have to turn to other service providers such as Mail Chimp and Timer Monkey to launch an e-mail marketing campaign. Plus, while they do have some resources on building an e-mail list, it is woefully inadequate and far less than clear.

    In addition, on the few occasions I have contacted their customer service for clarification, I have gotten a couple of good answers from one technician and half-assed answers from others. For instance, I read an article on their blog about how to implement an evergreen e-mail sequence but, it was poorly written and left out quite a bit of pertinent information. But, when I contacted their customer service to ask for clarification, they had no idea what I was talking about and repeatedly gave me half-assed answers to my questions! Thus, I had to turn to a video on YouTube to learn how to implement an evergreen e-mail marketing sequence.

    But, what has really set me off is that when I first signed up with them, they sent me e-mails on a regular basis but, suddenly stopped doing so. Then, the other day, I got a pop up window at the bottom of my screen informing me that their Teachable Summit was starting right then! So, I followed the link and signed up for their summit. But, not only did not receive notice of the impending summit via e-mail, I did not receive a confirmation e-mail that I had signed up for the summit! Thus, I contacted their customer service again to ask why I received neither notice of the summit nor a confirmation e-mail and that is when the run around started! First, I was told to check both of my e-mail addresses and my Spam folder. But, after my reply to that message, I was then told that their e-mails had bounced back to me too many times and that I had been removed from their e-mail list! Thus, they told me to add their e-mail address to my safe sender’s list and they would send me a confirmation e-mail. But, that was complete bull because, when I checked my safe sender’s list, their e-mail address was listed on both e-mail accounts! So, I sent them a reply stating that their e-mail address as well as their domain name was on my safe sender’s list and that I did not appreciate being lied to!!!

    However, I find all of this very suspicious since their e-mails to me suddenly stopped after I received a survey from them where I left poor feedback for them because their advertising is misleading, they only provide half of the solution for marketing an online course, and very little of the information needed to do so. But, after informing the customer service agent of this, I have not had reply from them of any sort whatsoever! Thus, I am now searching for a new home for my online outdoor academy!

    • Bill Bernhardt,

      I’m honestly not sure what you expect from Teachable. I’m not a customer of theirs, as I built my courses with Thinkific. However, they’re a courses site. they don’t do mailing lists, nor as far as I know is there a courses provider who does also do mailing lists. They are two totally different products.

      Also, you can’t expect their customer support to give support for something written in one of their blog posts. They support their product, and that’s it.

      I recommend going with ConvertKit for your mailing list provider, incidentally. But, I hope you can have some more reasonable expectations of your service providers.

  27. You may also like this e-Learning platform which allows you to create your own e-shop – marketplace and there sell your courses for FREE and with no extra effort! This e-shop function can be switched on by one click in the platform settings. You only need to select the courses you want to display. Personalizing your e-shop by using your company’s logo and colors, so that the visitors would recognize the e-shop as yours, is a question of only a minute. so lets try and get more profit!

  28. Learning Cart has been fantastic for me! I entered the field on Teachable because they provide a lot of guidance on how to get your course(s) noticed. But, I soon felt the technology was lacking and I didn’t get much from their guidance. So, I moved to Thinkific who has a little bigger feature set, but their tools for creating the home and landing pages were not very flexible and did not offer much for customizing, unless you are a coder. After researching over 50 LMS I chose Learning Cart. Their tools for customizing their template are much better and they have all the features I need. Most of all, their support is fantastic! With that said, our business model is to provide training on a wide range of business topics, from technical to management. I do not teach any of the courses. Instead, I find experts who have a course or idea and want to make some money, I market the courses and manage the site. You just teach!

  29. Yes this is great content but now we have many more other option.there is lot of other platform provider who provide same features with whitelable solution. You can create and manage your own UDEMY, Lynda etc.

    With same platform you can conduct live classes and can provide recorded one.

    You guys should try http://www.edugyaan.com

    EduGyaan is another company who provide better platform at low cos.

  30. Dis anyone try Versal?

  31. Hi, I have already built an on-line course on wix which took many, many months, so I don’t want to re-write it and generally happy with the features. I just want to leverage off an e-Learning site for marketing purposes. Any suggestions? thanks

  32. Hello Jeff..thanks for this information. My needs seem to be a little different, and I hope you can be able to guide me. I work for a non-profit organization and we offer elearning courses for business owners at no charge. Our approach is to develop the content, have someone produce it as an ecourse — and we own it. I don’t understand the monthly fees that all of the platforms you mentioned seem to have. Wondering if you have suggestions of elearning developers that produce the courses without any ties into monthly fees and revenue sharing. Thank you!

  33. There is an another very good online teaching platform called Learnyst Teach Online.They help you build your own branded school.
    You can visit and can signup to it from here http://www.learnyst.com

  34. Anyone use Wedemic?

  35. I have created a performance arts workshop online and was looking for a platform. Thank you.

  36. Anthony Miller says:

    Check out http://247digitalclassrooms.com. Their online learning platforms are affordable, simple to use, and cater to educators, tutors, coaches, and people looking to start a virtual school.

  37. Thanks for the excellent article. Atbetterce continuing education courses are designed to provide the much needed workforce skills needed to acquire professional caliber for a lot of in-demand occupations and all our courses are state approved in many professions.

  38. Hi everyone!
    Just find out Thinkific using stripe , for 0 payment term but sadly stripe doesn’t recognise Malaysia. So sad ????

    Great post Jeff. Thanks a lot!

  39. Thanks for the Article Jeff. I was considering Teachable cause I heard it in the SPI podcast. But I like the way you described Ruzuku. My first course so I want as much help as possible. Will teachable be as supportive, why did you them the especial nod?

  40. Great information thank you very much is there a platform that offers a subscription based pay I am a success coach and work with a lot of companies that would rather pay by the month and have access for all of their employees then by the course.
    Thank you for your help

  41. is there a subscription for clients with your website?

  42. I started using teachable and really like the functionality, UI, and ease of setting up the course. The problem I ran into is that files cannot be larger than 2GB. A lot of our training videos are 3GB and more, so we cant upload them.

  43. Lawrence says:

    If you have a course on Udemy, does Udemy restrict you to put up the same course elsewhere?

    • I’m not aware of any restriction on this. You own the content that you put into Udemy. The issue, though, is that Udemy is providing the tools to “structure the content” – i.e., providing the menu/links for a student to move from lesson to lesson. Still, if you course is mostly video – which it would be on Udemy – simply posting those videos on a different site or platform shouldn’t be that big of a deal.

  44. Mohdy MS says:

    Hi can I publish my course in udemy and my website in same time ?

  45. I realize this is a few years old now… but I am looking simply for an online platform that I can publish the course and not charge any money for. Is there anything like that out there?

  46. Thanks Jeff for the info. If i create a course on teachable can I use social media to market the Teachable course? I.e. link from social media ads/posts straight to course

  47. Hi Jeff, great job you did on this post (it’s been going on for quite a while now ). Did you ever tried MATRIX LMS? What’s your thought on it? It looks very user friendly (feels like a social media platform) and it has a lot of great features.

    • I haven’t used it, but will have a look. – Jeff

    • Hi – We (Spokes Education) are just in the process of launching a new learning platform, http://WWW.LURNMI.COM, which is a white labelled version of MATRIX LMS.
      You get the benefit of all the MATRIX features, but without having to commit to monthly fees – you only pay a small percentage of what you sell. We also give you full support, free of charge.

      We are offering some fantastic deals for early adopters, or if you want to get your own branded version of MATRIX, we can also help with that too.

      Thanks
      Phil

  48. In a bit of a quandary w/ LMS. We are a small religious order with a newly formed seminary wherein we would like to offer an eLearning option. Most of the sources described above are either web-based/ clud based platforms. We would like something more like an authoring tool platform, like Moodle, to create our courses and track everything from our own website.

    We tried Moodle and were OK w/ it except that there were security issues. We wound up being hacked and our webhost didn’t much appreciate that!

    Is there something along the Moodle line that you could recommend that might meet our needs?

    Much appreciated.

    Fr. Lev

  49. Hi Jeff – thanks for this great blog and the lists of online course platforms! I’m just curious as to why you don’t include SkillShare in your lists of platforms.

  50. Is Academy of Mine a real concern? It offers four apparently spoof course about cherries and a single 1hr 17min explanatory video (their understanding of an online course?).

  51. What do you think is the best platform to import an existing powerpoint presentation and convert it to an online course?

  52. Catherine says:

    As if March 2016 New Kajabi is now available and definitely a platform worth checking out! Not only can you create online courses and membership sites you can bike your entire business on it. Includes website, hosting, video hosting, landing pages, affiliate tracking and (soon) email marketing. For a list of all features go to http://www.NewKajabiFeatures.com.
    This is the platform many online marketers like Brendon Burchard use!

  53. I must admit, most of these websites are too expensive or offer little features for small start-ups. I was thinking about going with Udemy because they’ll help promote the course if you split the profits, but then I got greedy and thought about using wordpress to start my own, but it would be a pain in the butt to have to constantly update all those plugins. So I’m leaning towards Udemy and ValueAddon. I hate that I have to pay a monthly fee for VAO, but i like their platform set-up. I may try both and see which one performs best. Most likely it’ll be Udemy because they’ll do the marketing. We shall see though.

  54. Hi Jeff, great job you did on this post (it’s been going on for quite a while now ). Did you ever tried MATRIX LMS? What’s your thought on that platform? looks very user friendly (feels like a social media portal) and has a lot of great features.

  55. Give your customers on demand access to courses and leverage your core brand in minutes, not months.Create unlimited courses consisting of ‘Sections’, ‘Lectures’, ‘Assignments’, ‘Exams’ and ‘Certificates’ where contents of any format can be very easily inserted by you. https://www.createonlineacademy.com/features/

  56. Great list!! We just launched a couple days ago and our online course marketplace niche is Man Skills or courses targeting men. We are using Teachable to build our marketplace because they are awesome. So anyone with skills in Hunting, Preparedness and tons more are welcome in!!!

  57. Denise DeLuca says:

    I created a course on Udemy last . It was easy and they provide support. BUT I just learned they changed thier pricing structure, which suddenly knocks my course out. This is putting me in a terrible position. Be warned!!

Trackbacks

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  8. […] Online courses aren’t for everyone, but for the vast majority of people, it’s a viable, low-cost, and convenient way to learn something without the drawbacks of traditional classroom education. Apple offers free college courses through iTunes University but if you’re interested in either taking courses or creating your own online course, check out this list of online teaching platforms. […]

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