Online courses are a massive industry, and they’ll likely grow further into a $319 billion market by 2025.
If you like helping people and want to make money while doing it, you too should sell an online course. They’re a great way to make a passive or full-time income.
To help you create and present a professional course that attracts students, I’ve made a list of the best online course platforms. Check it out now.
Top online course platforms
1. WP Courseware [Affordable option for WordPress users]
Source: WP Courseware
WP Courseware is a WordPress plugin for setting up an online course. It allows non-developers to set up a course on their website. With WP Courseware, there’s no need to host your course on a third-party site and pay monthly fees.
- Host unlimited courses on your WordPress site.
- Drag-and-drop functionality lets anyone set up a course quickly.
- Accept one-time, recurring, and installment payments.
- Set up quizzes and surveys to increase engagement and get feedback.
- It works only on WordPress CMS.
- There’s no option to create landing pages for the front-end.
Best suited for: WordPress users and bloggers
Pricing: The Teacher, Professor, and Guru plans cost $129, $149, and $199 per year. You can get it for a one-time payment of just $39 for life on AppSumo.
2. Teachable [Popular course platform]
Teachable works with over 100,000 creators who’ve sold over $1 billion in courses and coaching services. If you don’t have a website or hosting service, Teachable is an excellent platform to host your course.
- Use the built-in editor to develop a highly customized course.
- Integrate your website and Teachable with a custom domain.
- Run an affiliate program directly on the platform to get referrals.
- Accept payments with Stripe and PayPal.
- To take full advantage, you need the Pro plan, which can be expensive.
- You need to pay transaction fees on the basic plan.
Best suited for: Coaches, creators, and bloggers looking for an easy-to-use platform
Pricing: The Basic, Pro, and Business plans cost $39, $119, and $299 per month. 14-day free trial available.
3. Acadle [Best for creating an onboarding experience]
Most course platforms are for building courses to sell. But Acadle is different—it’s a platform for making courses to onboard customers and train employees. You can also create free courses to attract and nurture your target customers.
- Use modules to create, launch, and clone courses quickly.
- Easily add video content with the Loom integration.
- Create a fun and engaging learning experience with leaderboard and gamification.
- Stream live courses.
- It has very few Integrations.
- There’s no option to sell your courses.
Best suited for: Startups, SaaS companies, managers, and HR professionals
Pricing: The Marketing, Onboarding, and Training plans cost $39, $99, and $399 per month. You can get lifetime access on AppSumo for a one-time payment of just $69. 7-day free trial available.
4. Kajabi [All-in-one platform]
If you’re looking for a comprehensive course creation platform and don’t mind paying for it, Kajabi is the ideal one for you. You can create products, websites, landing pages, emails, and other components for your course funnel. Students can also access the course via the Kajabi mobile app.
- Access a complete suite of tools for building and promoting online courses and memberships.
- Use templates or build your course site and landing pages from scratch.
- Offer a high-quality course experience with video hosting from Wistia.
- Use analytics to improve courses and create and launch better courses in the future.
- Kajabi is expensive, especially when compared to other course platforms.
- You can only create three products with the Basic plan.
Best suited for: Entrepreneurs, creators, and coaches who want a complete course creation and marketing platform
Pricing: The Basic, Growth, and Pro plans cost $149, $199, and $399 per month. 14-day free trial available.
5. Thinkific [Easy to use]
Thinkific is an easy-to-use alternative to Teachable. Its pricing and features are similar to Teachable, but Thinkific offers a free plan. It works with 50,000+ course creators who’ve made over $650 million. It’s not just used by creators but also by companies like Hootsuite.
- Easily set up your course with the drag-and-drop builder.
- Integrate your course into a new website or your existing one.
- Use the in-built video hosting and save money.
- It integrates with third-party tools such as e-commerce platforms (like Shopify), email service providers, survey tools, and analytics software.
- They need to upgrade the templates.
- To enable flexible pricing options such as subscriptions and payment plans, you must upgrade to the Pro plan.
Best suited for: Creators, coaches, and businesses that want a free and easy-to-use course platform
Pricing: The Basic, Pro, and Premier plans cost $49, $99, and $499 per month. It has a free plan, too. There’s also a growth plan where you pay $99 per month and $0.10 per active user.
6. 360Learning [Collaborative learning platform]
360 learning is a unique learning platform. It helps businesses create courses to onboard new customers and employees. It offers features such as gamification and peer-based learning that encourage collaborative studying.
- The easy-to-use builder simplifies course creation.
- The collaborative learning features boost course completion.
- Use feedback loops through comments and upvotes to improve the course content.
- Monitor and improve courses with learner activity dashboard and course completion tracking.
- Your students can view courses on the mobile app.
- You can’t sell courses.
- It’s better suited for businesses than creators and infopreneurs.
Best suited for: Businesses that want a learning platform for onboarding employees and customers
Pricing: $8 per user per month. Business and Enterprise plans are also available. 14-day free trial available.
7. LearnDash [Built for WordPress sites]
LearnDash might be the best solution for you if you’re looking for a popular and affordable WordPress plugin. It has most of the features that top course platforms offer, and you pay either a one-time or annual fee (if you want upgrades).
- The drag-and-drop course builder makes it easy to set up a course directly on your WordPress site.
- Quizzes allow users to provide feedback or test themselves, the latter for which you can award certificates.
- Accept payments through PayPal, Stripe, or 2Checkout.
- Offer one-time purchases or recurring payment options.
- It integrates with several tools such as Mailchimp, Slack, and WooCommerce.
- LearnDash only works on WordPress sites.
- It offers a lot of features and requires a good learning curve.
Best suited for: Bloggers and WordPress sites
Pricing: Basic, Plus Package, and Pro Package plans cost $159, $189, and $329 per year.
8. LearnWorlds [Best support]
LearnWorlds is a versatile course platform with 24-hour support. Use it to create the landing page and dashboard for your course. Creators use LearnWorlds to offer courses on topics such as marketing, music, fitness, and beauty.
- Create an engaging learning experience for students.
- Set up the website to promote your course.
- Maximize revenue with upsells, cross-sells, coupons, sales pages, and one-click funnels.
- Access 24/7 support, course building academy, and a help center to understand the software.
- Improve your course with analytics, insights, and reports.
- You need to pay an extra $5 per course sale on the Starter plan.
- There are limited support options on the basic plan.
Best suited for: Infopreneurs and entrepreneurs who want a complete platform for hosting and promoting their course
Pricing: Starter, Pro Trainer, and Learning Center plans cost $29, $99, and $299 per month, with a 30-day free trial. A Custom plan is also available.
9. Podia [Best for selling digital products]
Do you want to sell digital products in addition to or instead of courses? Check out Podia. You can sell webinars, downloads, memberships, and courses. It offers various features to easily market your courses and offer customer support.
- Sell unlimited products with any of the plans.
- Build custom w homepages, landing pages, sales pages, and sign-up pages.
- Send broadcasts with built-in email marketing.
- The live chat widget helps you sell to potential customers and offer support to students.
- Access 24/7 support on all plans.
- To sell memberships, you need to upgrade to at least the Shaker plan.
Best suited for: Creators and infopreneurs who want to sell all types of digital products such as ebooks, templates, courses, and webinars
Pricing: Mover, Shaker, and Earthquaker plans cost $39, $79, and $179 per month. 14-day free trial available.
10. Gurucan [Mobile-first course platform]
If you want your course to be accessible to users via a mobile app but don’t want to invest in an expensive course platform like Kajabi, consider Gurucan. It’s an affordable solution for hosting your course and offers many features to sell your course and keep students happy.
- Create courses, workshops, and memberships from one platform.
- Set up landing pages, automations, webinars, and push notifications to promote your course.
- Use analytics and CRM to track course activity and improve it.
- Offer courses on-the-go using the mobile apps for iOS and Android, with which you can white label with your branding.
- You need to connect to Zapier to get the most out of it, as it has very few integrations.
Best suited for: Coaches and infopreneurs that are interested in a mobile-first course platform
Pricing: The Creator and Expert plans cost $39 and $99 per month, with a 7-day free trial. There’s also a white-labeled plan that’s $249 per month and billed annually.
11. Shopify Courses [Built for Shopify stores]
Shopify isn’t just for setting up an ecommerce store — you can also set up courses with the Courses app. Sell these courses or offer them for free. With 4,200 apps and integrations, Shopify equips you to easily and quickly set up and promote your store. Thinkific also has an app for Shopify that lets you set up courses.
- Build your course on a robust hosting platform.
- Set up a professional-looking course with the easy-to-use editor.
- Create up to 5 lessons for free.
- Combine with Shopify’s apps to promote courses.
- Create courses to educate customers and onboard employees.
- You can only use it on Shopify.
Best suited for: Shopify store owners that also want to sell online courses.
Pricing: The Basic, Professional, and Enterprise plans cost $19.99, $49.99 and $199.99 per month. A free plan is also available.
12. Teachery [Best in scalability]
Are you looking for an affordable course platform that lets you create an unlimited number of courses? You might like Teachery. It has one medium-priced plan for selling unlimited courses to unlimited students. You can also set up landing pages and accept different types of payments.
- Access everything you need to set up an aesthetically-pleasing course.
- Create unlimited courses and landing pages with one plan.
- The live course editor makes it easy to create and update the course site.
- Improve your courses with tracking and analytics to help.
- Students can leave comments.
- You need a Zapier subscription to get the most out of it, because of limited integrations.
Best suited for: Infopreneurs looking for an affordable solution to sell unlimited courses
Pricing: There’s only one plan, the Monthly Plan, which costs $49 per month with a 14-day free trial. There’s a $470 per year annual payment option for the same plan.
13. Pathwright [Unique online learning experiences]
Pathwright is a complete platform for setting up your online course. You can create video, audio, and written courses, and it offers a lot of features for encouraging course completion.
- Access customizable mobile-optimized themes to set up a beautiful course.
- Encourage course engagement and completion with discussion exercises, projects, quizzes, graded tests, points, and certificates.
- Set due dates and auto-reminders for students.
- Offer one-time payments or monthly and annual subscriptions.
- It’s expensive compared to some options on this list.
- You can only teach 1,000 members with the starter plan.
Best suited for: Coaches, bloggers, and companies that want a robust online course platform
Pricing: The Starter, Essentials, and Complete plans cost $99, $199, and $499 per month. There’s also an enterprise plan. Free trial available.
What do you think is the best online course platform?
When I browse through my social media feed or email inbox, it seems like there are more courses out there than we need. But it looks like this isn’t the case as the eLearning industry is getting bigger every year. People and businesses are interested in investing in their self-improvement.
If you have valuable skills and want to help more people, you should launch an online course. But if you also want to make money with it, how you present and promote it will matter.
Pick an online course platform that helps you make a solid first impression. You can use the ones listed above or choose one from the AppSumo store. We have several affordable lifetime and one-time deals for online course platforms and other tools required for launching and promoting an online course.