If you’re a business owner or content creator looking for a platform to host YOUR own online course, you’re going to need to purchase some kind of online course platform.
But, how do you know which online course platform is best for hosting and marketing your training program?
After spending years selling my own online lead generation course, I’ve been able to test a wide range of different free, basic and paid all-in-one online course hosting platforms.
In this article, I’ll share my experience on which online course platforms work best!
The top online course platform (summary)
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick overview of some top online course hosting options:
Kartra (Best overall)
Skool (Best for community-driven learning)
Teachable (best free option with basic features)
Udemy (Best for beginners looking to sell low-priced courses)
Coursera – (Good runner-up)
Tip: If you’re looking to sell a high ticket course, be sure to watch my free Masterclass training here which goes through how I do this using both free and paid lead generation strategies.
What are the best online course platforms?
Here are the top 7 online course platforms for hosting and marketing your training program:
Best overall all-in-one course platform
What I like about Kartra is that you get EVERYTHING you need to create and sell professional-looking courses.
- Built-in native video hosting
- Membership features
- Lead & CRM management
- Landing pages
- Opt-in forms
- Payment processing
- Affiliate management system
- And so much more…
If you’re looking for an online course platform and nothing more, there are cheaper options out there.
However, if you consider that Kartra is an all-in-one solution, you can actually save money by canceling a lot of other software that Kartra replaces (such as email marketing tools, video hosting, etc).
Overall, Kartra is worth definitely worth trying if you’re looking for an all-in-one solution to host, market and sell your online course.
Best for building a community based online course
Skool is super easy to use and it’s perfect for anyone who wants to build a community with their online course.
In my experience, Skool’s biggest and best unique selling point is its built-in community feature.
The Skool community is similar to Facebook groups because it allows students to interact with each other and ask questions. However, unlike Facebook, Skool doesn’t have any ads or distractions. This makes it easier for students to make progress with your online course.
Overall, Skool is the best platform for anyone looking to create and host their own online course with an online community being a key part of the training.
Best free online course platform
If you’re looking for an affordable way to create and sell online courses, Teachable is a fantastic option. With Teachable, you don’t need any fancy tech skills or design experience. They’ve got you covered with all the tools you need to create a professional-looking course.
Teachable has a free plan which makes it easy for anyone to create and sell online courses.
You can upload videos, audio, PDFs, and more, and their drag-and-drop editor makes it super easy to organize your content.
Teachable was actually the FIRST platform I tested when I launched my online course.
In my opinion, Teachable is great for beginners because they will handle all the payments and even give you a built-in affiliate program so others can promote your course for you. Plus, with their analytics, you can see how many people are enrolled and how they’re doing in your course.
However, if you’re looking for more of an all-in-one course building platform, there are better alternatives (such as Kartra and Skool mentioned earlier).
Udemy is a popular online course platform that offers a diverse selection of classes across multiple subjects. This makes it easy for new customers to FIND your online course because you could appear on the Udemy search results.
However, the downside is that most courses on Udemy are very low cost (most are $5 to $50). This makes Udemy a difficult platform to use if you want to sell high-ticket courses.
From a user perspective, Udemy offers high quality educational content at an affordable price point.
Udemy boasts a vast selection of courses on matters like web dev, marketing tactics, project admin, digital design and more – all instructed by experts who have encountered the same challenges you face.
Additionally, many courses come with downloadable resources like cheat sheets or workbooks so you can continue learning even after completing the course itself.
5 – Coursera
Coursera is a leading online learning platform that collaborates with prestigious universities and organizations to provide a vast selection of courses. With Coursera, you will have access to a wide variety of options, including degrees, certificates, and individual courses.
Moreover, Coursera provides a variety of resources and tools to assist in creating and promoting your own courses, such as video hosting, course creation tools and payment integration. The platform also offers a mobile app to continue learning on the go.
Collaborates with reputable universities and organizations to provide a vast selection of courses
Offers a variety of resources and tools to create and promote your own courses
Provides a mobile app for learning on the go
Limited free course offerings
Has less features compared to paid alternatives
From a user perspective, Coursera offers university-level classes from some of the world’s leading universities.
Business owners will find a wide range of options here, ranging from computer science fundamentals to data analysis techniques – all designed specifically with entrepreneurs in mind.
Plus, there are plenty of free classes too if you’re just starting out or want to brush up on something specific without spending any money upfront.
6. LinkedIn Learning
LinkedIn Learning, formerly known as Lynda.com, is an online learning platform that allows you to create and share your own courses with a global audience. With over 15,000 expert-led courses, it’s a great way to reach professionals and expand your own personal brand.
The platform is super easy to use and you can create your course using your own videos, documents and presentations. Plus, you can also track your learners’ progress and get feedback on your course.
And the best part? You can earn money for each learner who enrolls in your course. It’s a great way to turn your expertise into a profitable business.
Reach a global audience of professionals
Earn money for each learner who enrolls in your course
Easy-to-use platform for creating and sharing your own courses
Track learners’ progress and get feedback on your course
Expand your personal brand and build credibility as a subject matter expert
Limited control over the course promotion
Dependent on the number of users to earn revenue
Competition with already established instructors
Limited analytics and data on learner engagement
Users need to have a LinkedIn account to access the courses.
From a user perspective, LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda) is a popular platform among professionals seeking career advancement through education.
It offers a library full of video tutorials created by experts in their fields, teaching subjects such as graphic design basics or SEO best practices – both crucial skillsets needed when running any successful business nowadays.
As it is owned by LinkedIn, users get access not only to great educational material but also networking capabilities which help them further expand their network reach beyond what they would be able to otherwise.
So what are you waiting for? Sign up for LinkedIn Learning today and start sharing your knowledge with the world!
7. Khan Academy
Khan Academy is a non-profit organization that offers a ton of free online classes on all sorts of subjects. This platform is free to use and easy to navigate, making it perfect for course creators involved in the charity space.
At Khan Academy, you can access various resources to enhance your courses, such as videos, quizzes, and interactive elements. This way, you can ensure your course is informative, engaging, and fun for your students.
You can also track your student’s progress on Khan Academy, allowing you to see what’s working and needs improvement. This helps you make adjustments and improve your course over time.
It’s completely free to use
User-friendly interface and easy to navigate
Variety of resources available, including videos, quizzes, and interactive elements
Ability to track students’ progress and make adjustments to the course
Limited customization options for the course layout and design
Limited ability to sell or monetize the course
Limited support and resources for course creators
Limited analytics and reporting options for tracking student progress and engagement.
In summary, Khan Academy is a great option for creating online courses. With its user-friendly interface, variety of resources and ability to track progress, it has everything you need to create a successful course.
Skillshare is a digital resource for creative professionals to develop and perfect their skills through concise video tutorials.
With short-form video lessons designed specifically for creatives, users can get high-quality instruction tailored towards these areas quickly and easily.
The site offers both free membership plans as well as premium subscription options that give access to exclusive content not found elsewhere on the platform.
Skillshare provides a wide selection of courses at reasonable prices taught by experienced professionals for those looking for an economical way to obtain knowledge in the creative sector.
Industry experts create these courses with years of experience in their respective fields, so you know you’re getting a quality education. Skillshare offers a refund policy for those not satisfied with their purchase within thirty days.
Some of the marketing-related courses I like also include practice exams. This includes practice exams for various professional certifications such as Adobe Creative Suite certification or Google Ads certification.
EdX is a leading online course platform that offers professional degree certificates and over 3,500 courses from some of the world’s most prestigious universities and businesses. Through its partnerships with institutions like Harvard University, MIT, and Berkeley, EdX provides learners with high-quality educational content to help them reach their goals.
For those looking to earn a professional degree certificate upon completion of certain programs, EdX has you covered. EdX provides challenging educational opportunities in computing, data analysis, business administration and beyond. Plus, these degrees are recognized by employers worldwide for their quality education standards.
Experts in the relevant field have crafted EdX’s courses to equip learners with what is necessary for career success.
No matter your experience level, EdX has something to offer – from introductory classes to more in-depth explorations into specific topics. And if you need additional support along the way – EdX also provides access to mentors who can guide your learning journey.
EdX offers various courses and professional certificates, making it an ideal platform for businesses to generate leads.
Udacity is a comprehensive online learning platform that allows students to gain practical skills for their future careers.
Udacity provides four-month courses focusing on web dev, programming, cloud computing and data science that are crafted by experts who keep up with job market trends. Industry pros have crafted the courses to keep up with job market needs and equip students with knowledge of cutting-edge tech.
With these programs, business owners can learn how to create innovative products or services as well as build drag-and-drop websites that attract customers and generate leads.
Udacity’s courses also cover digital marketing strategies and financial management, which help entrepreneurs maximize profits from their ventures.
Overall, Udacity is an exceptional selection for entrepreneurs desiring to amplify their understanding while staying up-to-date in the present rapid environment of technology and creativity.
With its expansive selection of tech-related courses, exams, and other learning materials, Pluralsight equips business owners with the skills they need to excel in their chosen field.
With a vast library of courses, practice exams, and other educational materials available in technology-related fields such as software development or IT operations management, Pluralsight offers something for everyone.
One of the most attractive features of Pluralsight is its selection of practice exams for various professional certifications.
These tests offer users a chance to assess their level of expertise in relevant topics, enabling them to pinpoint areas that need more attention before taking an official certification exam. The practice exams are also great for those who want to keep up-to-date on current trends in their industry but don’t have the time or money to attend traditional classes.
The comprehensive library at Pluralsight makes it easy for business owners to stay ahead of the competition by staying informed about new technologies and methods being used in their industry.
With over 7500+ courses covering everything from web development and cloud computing to digital marketing and project management, there’s something here for everyone regardless of experience level or job role. Plus, all content can be accessed anytime from any device – making it easier than ever before to fit education into your busy schedule.
Pluralsight is an excellent option for entrepreneurs who want to keep up to date with new tech and prep for industry credentials, no matter their job role.
12. Academy of Mine
Academy of Mine is a comprehensive online course platform allowing instructors to create and sell their courses in professional training or continuing education.
With Academy of Mine, instructors have complete control over course creation with an easy-to-use interface that allows them to manage student progress throughout their learning journey.
Business owners who wish to capitalize on their knowledge by creating and selling online courses can use Academy of Mine’s comprehensive platform.
The platform presents a range of capabilities, like configurable material varieties, flexible pricing plans, automated marketing tools, analytics dashboards and more – affording teachers the ability to modify their courses as per the needs of their intended audience.
Furthermore, the platform provides efficient payment-handling capabilities which enable businesses to accept payments from learners globally.
For those looking into creating a course on Academy of Mine but don’t know where to start, they offer expert support via email or live chat so you can get help whenever you need it.
They also provide tutorials on how best to use the platform’s features, templates, and sample projects, which can be used as starting points when designing your course.
Finally, they have built-in social media integration so you can easily promote your courses across multiple channels without manually posting each time.
Overall, Academy of Mine provides a powerful suite of tools that give business owners everything they need to successfully launch and manage successful online courses while providing an intuitive user experience and great customer service.
Choosing the best online course platform for your business depends on what you’re looking for.
For example, if you’re looking for an all in one platform to host, market and sell your online course, go with Kartra (which I use!).
If you’re looking to build an online community with your online course, go with Skool.
And if you’re looking for the cheapest online course platform, go with Teachable.
Ashley Davis (or ‘Ash’ for short) is the CEO & Founder of Skyline Social. For over 15 years, he has been helping business owners with lead generation. Ash specializes in helping businesses get high-quality leads, appointments and clients each month in an automated, scalable and profitable way. You can watch his free Masterclass training to learn more.