Welcome to Our Review On The Best Online Course Platform In 2020.
Students are turning to online courses to educate themselves through interactive online learning as it provides a flexible and easy way to learn. The knock on effect of this change in how people want to eduate themselves is that the online course market is expanding and the number of online education businesses are expected to continue to grow into the future.
With the market growing, there has been an increase in the number of online course platforms available. These platforms provide an easy way for you to create and sell your online course. The majority of the online course platforms reviewed do not require any coding experience, so provide a perfect way to share your knowledge.
This 'best online course platforms in 2020' guide will help you choose the right one for you and your business.
What Are Online Course Platforms?
With the number of individuals and businesses producing online courses growing in popularity, let's find out what an online course platform or educational platform is.
Online course platforms are one type of learning management system (LMS).
These online course platforms allow teachers, students, and others to create and manage learning programs. Which offer Virtual digital courses to students as a way to learn at home.
The courses provided are convenient, engaging, and give the students an experience similar to the one they would have received studying at the local college.
Online courses typically offer access to an instructor who provides engaging multimedia lectures through video, text, audio files, and PDF.
Students take the classes, take notes, perform exercises, and complete exams, just like offline.
The number of e-learning companies has exploded.
All offer a slightly different experience.
Before you choose which course platform provides your company with the most effective way to interact with your customers, let's review them to see which platform offers the best features for your business and consider the cost of online course development with each course platform.
The Best Online Course Platforms In 2020
If you have started a blog and decided its time to move into providing an online course program relating to your chosen niche, then Thinkific is for you.
Thinkific have more than 20 years' experience in providing online learning.
Known as one of the top online course platforms, Thinkific is a great place to start creating and selling courses.
Thinkific Reviews: This Online Course Platform Is Easy To Use And Come With A Wide Range Of Features
With a range of features enabling you to publish, price and promote your educational resources from one site Thinkific have it all. Thinkific features include:
BUILD YOUR COURSE USING ONE OF THE THINKIFIC PLANS
Thinkific is an easy to use online course platform. The platform allows you to upload, drag, and drop the content you have produced quickly and efficiently into your course, without prior knowledge of coding. Include videos, text downloads, quizzes, discussions, type forms, and surveys with the click of a button.
Build private and hidden courses, and prerequisite lessons with the option of using multiple instructors.
DESIGN YOUR SITE USING THINKIFIC'S ONLINE COURSE PLATFORM
Thinkific offer full customization for your course website, including a great drag and drop builder, to assist you in building your course. Add, delete, or rearrange course sections to meet your individual requirements and preferences.
MARKET & SELL YOUR THINKIFIC COURSE
Thinkific allows you to offer membership sites and subscription courses. Attract a wider audience with free trials, upsets, and payment plans; the possibilities are endless.
Reach more students with Thinkific's advanced marketing tools. Offer incentives for sharing your courses. Create targeted campaigns, then track those campaigns. The marketing options are wide and varied.
Thinkific gives you access to features that help you support your students. Use dedicated tracking, goal setting, progress indicators, and more to provide students with an enjoyable experience. Thinkfic provide tutorials to assist you on your way.
HOW SECURE IS YOUR COURSE AT THINKIFIC?
Ensuring your courses are safe is an essential feature of all online course platform. Thinkific provides reliable, secure cloud hosting with SSL certificates included. Your site is always available, and updates are automatic, so you don't miss any of the latest features.
Offering affordable plans, with no transaction fees and a 30-day money-back guarantee, Thinkific offers great value for money.
Offers the option to design and sell three courses, with unlimited student access. Produce quizzes and surveys and gain instant access to any income you make.
Costs: $49 per month
The basic plan includes the option to produce unlimited courses with unlimited student access. Offer coupons, email students, provide scheduled content to your students, and have a custom domain are all inclusions with this option.
Costs: $99 per month
The Pro Plan is the most popular Thinkific course option. It provides you with all the features of the two options above, you also receive the ability to have two site admin accounts and five-course administrators.
The pro plan also gives you advanced course pricing options, the ability to offer memberships and bundles. Advanced customization options, priority support, and the ability to build student communities are added extras.
Costs: $499 per month
If you are considering building an education website for a university or similar organization, then this is the plan for you. It includes everything you need to achieve success.
To find out more about Thinkific check out our comprehensive review.
Pros of Thinkific
Cons of Thinkific
I recommend the Thinkific online course platform. It has a great look, is easy to use, and includes all the tools you need to build your online course.
Whether you are starting your journey into course creation or are a seasoned veteran, Thinkific is excellent for anyone who wishes to create and sell an online course.
A cloud-based online course platform that gives you the ability to create and deliver online courses using your company branding. This online course platform has some great features that will help you boost student engagement.
LearnWorlds: This Online Course Platform Is Full Of Features Aimed At Increasing Sutdent Engagement.
Does LearnWorlds offer the features to produce a high converting website for your business? It sure does. Offering features that make your website easy to use, flexible, attractive, and set-optimized, they do deliver.
BUILD YOUR COURSE USING LEARNWORLDS
LearnWorlds is a simple, flexible, and robust online course platform. With the click of a button, add a video transcript: then add questions, titles, and images to these videos, making them more engaging for your students.
Offer courses with a scheduled feed, quizzes, formal tests, question banks, and branded certificates to help you connect with your students.
LearnWorlds recognizes that being social online has business and learning value, so building an online learning committee option is also included.
DESIGN YOUR SITE USING LEARNWORLDS ONLINE COURSE PLATFORM
Building a stunning website with LearnWorlds is simple. Technical skills are not required. Gain access to a range of designs that will increase conversions.
Using the LearnWorlds theme editor, customize your course style, logo, and theme to match your brand.
MARKET & SELL YOUR LEARNWORLDS COURSE
LearnWorlds offers a complete e-commerce solution. You will have access to powerful marketing tools, including the option to provide coupons and promotions.
Provide your customers subscriptions, bundles, or private courses, with a click of a button.
LearnWorlds allows you to use a custom domain name to promote your brand and also offers the option to remove the LearnWorlds brand, so the course site is truly yours.
LearnWorlds wants you to achieve your goals, so they offer 24/7 customer support. They also provide migration services if you are transferring your course over from another online course platform.
Learnworlds will provide a wealth of support to help create, publish, and promote your course. This includes the LearnWorlds Academy, a knowledge base, and a weekly webinar.
HOW SECURE IS YOUR COURSE AT LEARNWORLDS?
Ensuring your courses are safe is an essential feature for all online course platforms. LearnWorlds offer 24/7 monitoring and a free SSL certificate. They are GDPR-compliant, highly scalable, and provide single sign-on.
Offering risk-free, affordable plans, with 30 days satisfaction guarantee, you really should consider the LearnWorlds online course platform.
All LearnWorlds plans include the following basic features:
- No limits on the number of courses you can design
- Access to your video library
- Mobile and tablet compatible
- Multilingual options
- Creative brand design freedom
- Unique design options including templates and fonts
- Grow your sales with offers and discount options
- Built-in community network and learning options
- Automated newspaper and built-in ebooks
- Conversion tracking and learner analytics
As you can see, LearnWorlds has much to offer.
Costs: $29 per month
The starter plan includes all the features listed above. It also includes unlimited paid courses, one admin, a custom domain, and four payment gateways.
Basic integrations, a free SSL certificate, 25/5 email support, and the ability to drip feed your courses are other inclusions.
One negative about this option is you will need to pay a $5 fee for every course you sell.
Costs: $99 per month
If you sign up for the pro-trainer plan, you will not have to pay the fee for every sale. The pro-trainer plan includes five admins, unlimited courses, and unlimited landing pages.
In addition to these inclusions, a complete website builder with blogs, subscriptions, and membership options are included and the ability to offer installment payment options to your students.
LearnWorlds provide 24/7 email support, SCORM files, affiliate management options, and Zapier and premium integrations. Access to the LearnWorlds Academy is free.
Learning Centre Plan:
Costs: $299 per month
An excellent option for those of you building numerous courses as you will receive access for twenty administrators and be given the ability to complete bulk student uploads. Full White-label options are available, integrations with API, interactive videos, and auto customer insights are all included in this plan.
Before you commit to any plan, you can sign up for Learnworlds free trial of 30 days and check out our comprehensive review.
Pros of LearnWorlds
Cons of LearnWorlds
This online course platform has powerful course creation features and gives you the ability to engage your students with several great tools.
As one of the top online course platforms, Teachable is a great option when considering developing an online course.
Teachable: One Of The Most Popular Online Course Platforms
Offering a host of features to develop your online course:
BUILD YOUR COURSE USING TEACHABLE
Teachable allows you to add video, audio, quizzes, pdf's and other multimedia content to your course, quickly and efficiently. Include multiple types of content in the same lesson.
The course builder is easy to use and provides the ability to change the settings for bulk lessons rather than updating each lesson individually. Import content directly from google drive or dropbox, saving your precious time.
Teachable's course player is well designed; users can navigate easily and monitor progress.
They also provide an iOS app that improves user experience.
Teachable does not provide access to design an online community. However, you can use the comments feature, which allows interaction with your students.
Create certifications from three templates and link it to a particular course. Scheduled emails are also available on the Teachable platform allowing automatic emails.
The content locking feature means students cannot progress to the next stage of the course before completing a specific element. Extensive course reporting capabilities are available, which allow you to track student completion rates.
DESIGN YOUR SITE USING TEACHABLE'S ONLINE COURSE PLATFORM
Receive a free subdomain with your website and the ability to customise the text and change the language of the course.
Teachable has a default site theme, where you can build your course, upload your logo and decide the color and font style for your site. The drag and drop page builder allows creation of each page, allowing content to be placed wherever your choose.
Create a basic blog on your platform, and remove the teachable branding.
MARKET & SELL YOUR TEACHABLE COURSE
Teachable provides a great one-step checkout process, allowing customers to make payments and add personal information on one page. One-click upsells are also available.
You can also create a one-off payment, a recurring subscription, or a payment plan when it comes to pricing your course. The courses can be priced in a variety of currencies too.
One Issue, if you sign up for a basic plan, it can take 30 to 60 days to receive your payments, if you are outside the U.S. or Canada.
Teachable has an inbuilt feature to handle EU VAT and add it to your course price. The company is one of the few online course platforms that has inbuilt capability to handle EU VAT.
Teachable provides good customer support. They offer email support on each of their plans and live chat support on the professional plan.
The company has a knowledge base, including how-to articles and an active Facebook group to help you find advice.
Teachable also has an online training school, which helps build your course.
HOW SECURE IS YOUR COURSE AT TEACHABLE?
Teachable hire a fraud team to ensure your course is safe. They provide seamless hosting to protect your course and track outages 24/7 to ensure your customers get great service at all times.
Instant upgrades and a 2048-bit SSL certification keep your student's information safe.
Included in all Teachable plans are:
- Unlimited video, courses, and hosting
- Integrated payment processing
- Student management
- The ability for lectures to provide comments
- Very basic quizzes are include
- Teachable does not charge fees for free courses
Before we discuss the paid plans, teachable's free plan is a great way to test the online learning platform to see if its a good fit for your business.
Costs: $29 per month
In addition to the features listed above, if you sign up for the basic plan, you can teach an unlimited number of students. Produce a members-only community, provide courses at scheduled times, and use coupon codes.
You will receive integrated email marketing options, three-party integrations, and custom domain support. With the basic plan, you will need to pay a 5% transaction fee.
Costs: $99 per month
The pro plan is the most popular Teachable plan. If you sign up for this plan, you will not pay transaction fees. Access for five administrators, and priority product support is included.
Graded quizzes, advanced reports, and course completion certificates will provide extra support to your students.
Costs: $299 per month
The business plan provides access to twenty administrators and provides them with custom user roles. Receive priority support, and advanced theme customization tools. Bulk student enrolments are also available and the ability to manually import students.
Pros of Teachable
Cons of Teachable
This online course platform is a great choice. In addition to many useful features, Teachable have an easy to use, flexible course builder, an iOs app, and excellent course reporting tools
More than 16,000 businesses trust Kajabi to provide them with a reliable, powerful online course platform.
The plans are slightly more expensive, so are aimed more at your established businesses who want to gain access to more advanced features. Kajabi offers a course builder for companies who want to produce more in-depth courses.
Kajabi: An Online Course Platform With Amazing Advanced Features
Offering a range of high-level features, Kajabi is a provider who offers more to those seasoned course creators.
BUILD YOUR COURSE USING KAJABI
Starting to build a course with Kajabi is simple and straightforward. Using product blueprints, you can structure and upload content to your course quickly and flexibly. Prior coding knowledge is not required.
Access to unlimited Wistia hosting for videos is included as part of your plan, along with access to a set of more than ten product themes, which are all customizable. Kajabi offers a mobile app for Android and iOS devices, providing flexibility to your students.
The online course platform includes an assessment tool to help to keep your students engaged; create quizzes, which you can grade automatically. Students can submit assignments in the file upload option, with an option to gather feedback
Creating student community forums is simple; adding options such as email notifications are a great bonus point.
Another great feature is the ability to offer scheduled content to students and only allow access to some aspects of your course at a certain point. For example, students need to pass a test before moving on to the next module.
Kajabi's automation allows you to create rules which will enable you to take action. To send a reminder to a student to complete an exam after finishing the course, you can automatically set it up.
DESIGN YOUR SITE USING KAJABI'S ONLINE COURSE PLATFORM
As a hosted online course platform solution, Kajabi provides a complete package to build your website. Kajabi offers a pre-defined theme called the premier theme. To build your modern, attractive site, use this theme with one of the six different presets.
The page builder allows changes to be made on the front end of a website using an easy to use drag and drop editor. It is also mobile responsive. Add a blog to your site and define SEO settings for each blog post. A point to note is it will not be as powerful as WordPress.
MARKET & SELL YOUR KAJABI COURSE
Kajabi is a very proactive online course platform when it comes to sales and marketing tools. Instead of offering one or two tools, you will receive a whole suite.
When pricing your courses, offer a free course, one-time payments, subscription, or even a payment plan. You can also price your course in most major currencies.
If you are upselling and want students to start at the same time, the ability to bundle a number of your courses together, along with flexible course start dates is a stand out feature.
Kajabi automatically creates a one-step checkout page. Customization of the checkout page is easy; add logos, offer additional details, and testimonials. You can also choose which information you want to collect from your customers. Tracking abandoned carts is also possible with automatic follow up emails, in addition to automated emails.
Kajabi offers outstanding customer support, providing 24/7 live chat support. They provide a large number of tutorials, and access to Hero University, where you can access free training. A Facebook page where you can access further support is also available for Kajabi customers.
HOW SECURE IS YOUR COURSE AT KAJABI?
Your site is secure with Kajabi; they offer a free SSL certificate for your website. The team also takes care of all maintenance and updates.
Each of Kajabi's three plans include unlimited landing pages and the ability to send unlimited marketing emails. Access to one website, with an administrator, zero transaction fees and ready to use templates are included in every plan. Also included is entry to the Kajabi University and 24/7 chat support.
Costs: $119 per month
Includes the ability to create three products and have three pipelines. Manage 10,000 contacts and 1,000 active members at any time. Automations are also a handy feature for this package.
Costs: $159 per month
In addition to the basic package features, you have the ability to create fifteen products and pipelines. Contacts grow to 25,000, and active members can increase to10,000 members at one time. Ten administrators will have access to your website, and you can now utilise the advanced automation. In this plan you can remove Kajabi branding, and offer an affiliate program.
Costs: $319 per month
The pro plan offers even more. Produce 100 products and pipelines over three websites. You can have 25 administrators, 100,000 contacts, and 20,000 members. Access to the code builder editor to make your course even more marketable is also included.
Pros of Kajabi
Cons of Kajabi
Without a doubt, Kajabi is one of the best online course platforms available in 2020.
It provides you with the tools to create a website, blog, market and manage your complete education website from one location.
Over 11,000 companies use Podia to create their online courses. This online course platform allows you to produce, sell, and host your course on one platform.
Podia: An Ideal Online Course Platform For Those With No Experience!
Let's check out Podia's features:
BUILD YOUR COURSE USING PODIA
Podia allows you to host your content on their platform, using Wistia for video hosting. Uploading multiple files is easy, but you cannot import them directly from Google drive or dropbox.
Podia's course builder is easy to use but is not flexible. You cannot have different resources in the same lesson, so you need to create separate lessons for each resource. The course player is attractive and easy to use for your students. Scheduling course content, down to individual students, is handy.
Podia's online course platform has a few limitations. The quiz element of the platform cannot set a pass mark, there is no option to create assignments, and individual lessons of the course cannot be locked.
DESIGN YOUR SITE USING PODIA ONLINE COURSE PLATFORM
Podia is slightly different than the other online course platforms as it doesn't have any site themes. Access to one template that you can customize is included.
MARKET & SELL YOUR PODIA COURSE
Podia will provide you the necessary tools to sell your online course. However, it doesn't offer email marketing or a sales funnel builder. They do offer a great checkout process, click upsells, the ability to manage an affiliate program, and handle EU VAT.
Customer support at Podia is their selling point. They offer a chat widget on your dashboard, where you can communicate with their team. Podia also has a knowledge library, with an array of free articles.
This online course platform has two plans.
Costs: $39 per month
The mover plan is aimed at creators starting their first digital course; the mover plan offers some great features. Every aspect of your account is unlimited. This includes the number of products you produce, customers, emails sent, and sales.
Host your subdomain on their platform or from your domain. There is no need for third-party plugins as everything you need is included in the plan.
Live chat seven days a week and zero transaction fees are another feature. Any additional administrators cost an additional $20 per month. Receive free migrations if you are moving content to Podia.
What's not included: Memberships, blogs, offsite buy buttons, affiliate marketing, and third-party code.
Costs: $79 per month
Creators who are ready to grow their business should consider the shaker plan. In addition to all features received in the mover plan, have the ability to offer your students membership subscriptions. Publish blogs, embed buy buttons on other websites, install third-party code snippets, and start affiliate marketing.
Pros of Podia
Cons of Podia
An easy to use online course platform. With Podia, you can quickly set up a course, with sales page for your products with no coding experience.
Integrating with WordPress, LearnDash is an impressive online course platform.
LearnDash: An Online Course Platform That Integrates With WordPress
Let's take a look at LearnDash's features.
BUILD YOUR COURSE USING LEARNDASH
LearnDash Focus mode helps to build your course. Add your logo and brand colors.
The drag and drop course builder allows you to create multi-layer courses, and re-use your content, an option not available with any other online course platform provider.
Customize your course quizzes using eight different question types, custom messages, quiz timers, and question banks.
Schedule your course over a certain amount of time or deliver all lessons at once. LearnDash offers the ability to release your course content at a predetermined time automatically. By utilizing the free notifications add on, you can automatically notify learners of the new content.
Create a forum for each course and limit participation.
DESIGN YOUR SITE USING THE LEARNDASH ONLINE COURSE PLATFORM
If you wish to offer your course through your existing WordPress site, LearnDash is an excellent option.
Built to work with modern WordPress themes and many of the popular page builder plugins LearnDash can adopt your installed themes styling attributes into your course.
MARKET & SELL YOUR LEARNDASH COURSE
LearnDash includes all the tools necessary to market and sell your online course.
Entice your students by offering free samples of your course content. Offer courses in bundles. Charge a one time fee, or offer recurring payments and subscription options.
Remove student access after a set time by checking a box
Utilize the reporting metrics, coupon support, and affiliate programs options
With an in-depth knowledge of the e-learning industry, LearnDash offers excellent customer service. They provide support Monday to Friday from 7 am to 4 pm EST, using a ticketed system.
LearnDash also offers a wealth of information on their website.
HOW SECURE IS YOUR COURSE AT LEARNDASH?
As LearnDash uses the WordPress built-in Media library, you need to use any plugin to add additional security settings to your files.
Costs: $199 per month
The basic package includes unlimited courses and users and one site license. Course content protection, scheduled lessons, advanced quizzing, certificates, forums, and email notifications are other inclusions.
Included in the package is one year of support and updates.
Costs: $229 per month
The plus package includes ten site licenses and access to the ProPanel and the features available in the basic package.
Costs: $369 per month
The pro plan increases the number of site licenses to twenty-five.
Pros of LearnDash
Cons of Learn Dash
One of the most popular WordPress Learning Management System plugins LearnDash, is a great choice if you wish to create a custom course.
Academy of Mine
Academy of Mine: This Online Course Platform is full of useful features.
Lets take a look
BUILD YOUR COURSE USING ACADEMY OF MINE
With a bucket full of features, the Academy of Mine offers everything your need to sell your course.
Using the Visual builder's drag and drop builder, you can quickly and easily create a course with no coding skills. Each course can also be custom branded.
The fully integrated learning management system allows you to set up courses, students, and instructors with a click of a button.
Academy of mine offers the option of providing virtual and live classes, a student dashboard allowing you to track courses and progress. Scheduling of courses enables you to restrict content to certain aspects of your course. Certificates can be custom designed.
You also have the option for Virtual and live classes. You can easily teach live classes, including the 1-1 group sessions, whiteboarding, and screen sharing.
DESIGN YOUR SITE USING ACADEMY OF MINE'S ONLINE COURSE PLATFORM
Academy of Mine will give you the tools to produce your online course, and they will help you build it.
Using WordPress CMS, you can build a fully responsive, mobile, and SEO friendly website.
The team at the Academy of Mines will provide you with assistance to ensure your website meets all your needs and will continue to maintain and update it.
MARKET & SELL YOUR ACCOUNT AT THE ACADEMY OF MINES
Create engaging sales pages that link your online course platform directly to your website.
The Academy of Mine guarantees excellent customer service.
The company offers a support ticket system to provide you with a speedy response. If that does not provide you with the answers you require, you can contact them directly using email or direct calls.
Academy of Mines will supply a dedicated account manager to customers who sign up for the premier plan.
A premier helpdesk will provide you with plenty of step by step tutorials.
HOW SECURE IS YOUR COURSE AT ACADEMY OF MINE?
Academy of Mine Pricing:
Costs: $499 per month
Recommended for companies who not need many advanced features, the Essentials plan includes many great features.
A dedicated 24/7 customer support help desk is available to all customers.
Brand your platform, with no mention of the Academy of Mines and receive 2TB of storage as part of this plan.
The default LMS platform allows you to provide self-paced courses.
You can create an unlimited number of courses, students, instructors, and admins. User roles include student, admin, and instructor access, with an audit trail available for each user.
Basic tracking includes monitoring how students are progressing through this course and automatically issue custom certificates.
Costs: $899 per month
Marketed at Businesses that require advanced features and sell in bulk to other organizations.
The professional plan offers 8 FREE development hours each month to help you build your business.
In addition to 24/7 priority support, a dedicated Account Manager is available to help with any issues.
Sell your course in bulk with the group manager feature and all licenses directly to other organizations.
The learning management system includes advanced functionalities such as In-Person bookings, Calendars, E-Books, and Downloadable Products.
Costs: $ Custom per month
The custom plan is Custom built for your business.
Pros of Academy of Mine
Cons of Academy of Mine
Academy of Mine:
The online course platform provided by Academy Of Mine is a powerful platform, packed full of great features to start your online education solution.
The software is easy to use, and you will be able to create, sell, and market your course with help from their knowledgeable and supportive team.
Online Course Platform Conclusion
Choosing a suitable online course platform is essential to the success of your online course.
Ensure you research each platform. Take the time to consider how the features of each online course platform will benefit your business.
Each of the course platforms reviewed above allows you to upload your content, provide online education to your students, and help you to generate sales.
About The Author
Susan is the founder of a2zonlinehub, a blog specializing in helping people become successful working from home or as independent freelancers. Originally a chartered Accountant, but moved into content writing to allow her the flexibility to work from home, around her three girl's schedules.