Best Online Course Platforms

Best Online Course Platforms to Explore in 2021

Online course platforms are experiencing massive growth thanks to the rapid digitization of the learning process. These platforms allow content creators to teach students from anywhere around the world.

Moreover, they provide the complete customization and branding required for your online classes. In fact, it is projected that the online learning industry is projected to be at $325 billion by 2025.

Now how to know which platform is best for a custom professional learning experience for your students. Which platform provides the right help for marketing and gets the product monetization towards success.

So to make your decision easier I have reviewed and ranked the best online platform platforms based on ease of use, pricing, features, integrations, student experience, and more.

So let’s get started.

What Are the Best Online Course Platforms?

Here is my list of the best online course platforms to use this year.

1. Thinkific

Thinkific

Thinkific is overall the best online course platform offering high-end course experience with affordability. The first and most important thing is that you can create unlimited courses.

It also provides other features like landing pages, certificates, advanced pricing options, marketing tools, and membership bundles. Moreover, it offers a lot of customization features offered by very few platforms in the market.

Key Features

  • Customization – Offers you to customize every minute detail of your course platform the way you want. Thinkific also gives you full access to modify HTML and CSS as well.

Pros

  • Offers a free product to get you started
  • Provides custom domain and email white labeling
  • Allows you to edit the coding of your course site
  • Offers affiliate marketing assistance and analytical reporting
  • Provides marketing automation tools and email features
  • Personalized course certificates
  • Voice-over PowerPoint presentation tools allow easy video production
  • Only online course platform with unlimited courses and no transaction fee

Pricing Plans

Thinkific offers three pricing plans apart from its free plan.

  • Basic Plan – $49 per month (This offers you a custom domain, drip (scheduled) content, email integrations, Unlimited courses and students, and coupons)
  • Pro Plan – $99 per month (This offers all in basic features and live lessons via Zoom, advanced HTML and CSS editing, certificates, private courses, assignments, and priority support)
  • Premier Plan – $499 per month (This offers all in pro features and onboarding package,  unlimited growth package, and 50 plus course admins)

2. Teachable

Teachable

Teachable is a fast and easy course builder designed for beginners as it is one of the cheapest options and easy to use. You can select their free plan that charges $1.10 per transaction or one of their three plans ranging from $29 per month to $299 per month.

Key Features

  • Data Control – This allows you to have complete control of student data right from email addresses to their activity on the courses to help you improve your student experience.
  • 1 Click up-sell – allows you to sell related courses and products to your customers during checkout. This maximizes your monetization revenue potential.

Pros

  • Can have 5 user accounts on their pro plan.
  • Provides optimized sales pages and storefront with one-click checkout
  • Provides graded quizzes
  • Very easy to set up and offers website theme customization
  • Offers custom course completion certificates
  • Provides live Zoom classes on pro plan
  • Supports international payment plans in 100+ countries

Pricing Plans

Teachable offers three pricing plans for its customers:

  • Basic Plan – $29 per month (This offers course builder, 2 admin users, 5% transaction fees, and members-only community)
  • Pro Plan – $99 per month (This offers all in basic features and 5 admin users, course certificates, no transaction fees, advanced reports)
  • Business Plan – $249 per month (This offers all in pro features and bulk student enrollments, group coaching calls, 20 admins, advanced theme customization)

3. Learnworlds

Learnworlds

Learnworlds is one of the best platforms for course creators for customizing the experience of students in a unique way. Though the student experience is not as great as Thinkific they offer interactive eLearning content.

Apart from that, they do support interactive videos, gamification, quizzes, etc.

Key Features

  • Built-in Social Network – Offers built-in social media platform buttons for students to share the course they like.
  • eLearning Content – Focuses on instructional design techniques and accommodating different learning styles.

Pros

  • Provides 24/7 customer support
  • Offers certification of completion
  • Provides coupons and discounts for course purchase
  • Allows you to offer free courses and provides a strong knowledge base
  • Provides the ability to create membership sites
  • Allows you to extract transcripts from your courses
  • Offers white-labeled content and custom domain
  • Supports gamification, e-books, videos, and downloadable attachments.
  • Allows student to highlight important notes
  • Offers a custom mobile app on iOS devices

Pricing Plans

Learnworlds offers four paid plans to its customers.

  • Starter Plan – $24 per month (billed annually and offers page builder tool, unlimited courses, coupons, 4 payment gateways, drip-feed courses, custom domain, $5 fee per course sale, and one admin.
  • Pro Trainer Plan – $79 per month (billed annually and offers all in starter plan and live classes via Zoom and Webex, 5 admin accounts, no transaction fees, custom checkout pages, affiliate management, subscriptions, assignments, and memberships)
  • Learning Center Plan – $249 per month (billed annually and offers all in pro trainer plan and premium support, flexible invoicing, branded corporate academy, premium account manager, flexible invoicing, and premium cloud servers)
  • High Volume or Corporate Plan – Custom Quote based

So now let’s cover the basics.

What Are Online Course Platforms?

Online course platforms are one type of learning management system (LMS)  that provides users digital access to their live classes.

These virtual classes are similar to the offline classes except that the instructor uses tools like audio, text, video, images, and pdf files for an engaging educational experience. Tools like Teachable, Thinkific, learn worlds, Kajabi, and Ruzuku offer robust features for online creators.

Basically, they give you everything you need to sell an online course. This course software features include course completion certificates, marketing features, a sales funnel, easy content uploading, an amazing website experience, and more.

The course platform allows creators to set their charges for the students to access the course.

How Do I Create Online Courses?

Here are the important things that you will require to create an online course to help you get started.

1. Microphones

A microphone is very important as you cannot easily remove bad audio as compared to a shaky video. Make sure you use the best microphone you can afford in your course for excellent sound.

You can use lavaliere mics, headsets, or a standard receiver but I recommend a USB microphone. Plus, do not forget the microphone accessories like acoustic panels, shock mounts, foam balls, pop filters, etc.

2. USB Webcam

This completely depends on your budget but most online courses will require live videos or webinars of an online instructor. You can use a professional DSLR, webcam, or iPhone camcorders as your recording equipment.

3. Headphones

Good noise-canceling headphones help a lot during the editing process. It also assists when you are conducting an interview or recording, someone.

4. Screen Recording Tool

You will require screen recording software to highlight your work to your students. Therefore, this is a mandatory tool if you are looking to host an online course.

5. Lighting and Accessories

Quality three-point lighting is to make sure that the interviewer or instructor stays in the spotlight. This enables the audience to focus on you and get less distracted by other things.

6. Video and Audio Editing Software

After shooting the real thing is editing the done work. You can rely on professional tools like Apple FInal Pro-Cut or Adobe premiere for this job.

Best Online Courses Platforms – Final Summary

This wraps up my list of the best online course platforms. I will keep updating the list with other relevant online course platforms available in the market.

Remember the best online course platform is the one that provides training to your students, allows them to upload content easily, and generates course sales. Moreover, provides all offers course creation tools and features for online teaching.

However, a platform is a platform and it is you that is crucial when it comes to selling your online courses. It all will come down to your engagement, branding, your insights, and experience. This will require extensive planning, market research, development, and most importantly, marketing.

Finally, there are a massive amount of topics available to teach and there are millions of students who are willing to learn from you.

So start creating your online courses today!

More from SmashitbuckTo check out my other software reviews, read my post on the OKR software, CRM software, Best CMMS Software to use this year.

Authored By Amey Sarode
Amey Sarode is a Lead Web Developer in GOMO Group with expertise in multiple software verticals. Before starting this blog, Amey managed multiple projects for startups and now reviews the best software to run your online business.

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