How to find the right online course platform?
In your journey to create an online course, one of the major challenges you’ll face is to find a perfect online course platform.
Believe me, choosing a right course platform can be a huge pain in the neck.
You know why?
See, I have a profile on almost all social media channels whether its FB, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc.
And I’m heavily active on them.
I regularly share immensely valuable content on these platforms.
On some platforms, It gets shared instantly whereas others take time.
Why is it so?
It’s because different platforms have their own personalities & they behave differently.
For example, FB needs people to engage with the platform, whereas twitter counts the number of retweets & likes a post gets.
Similarly, each online course platform is totally different from other & it’s your responsibility to choose the right one.
Your wrong selection of platform can put you in deep trouble.
After all, you don’t want to upload your marketing ecourse to a platform where customer support keeps you hanging for long hours, do you?
According to American Express survey, 78% customers have decided to cancel their purchase because of poor customer service.
So always remember
Precision in the decision, is your way to progression.
But in order to find that perfect online course platform, you should know exactly what to look for.
So, let’s have a quick look at different types of online course platforms, you should know about.
Different type of online course platform:
1. Learning destination sites :
LDS platforms provide a basic front-end shop to sell your online courses. It allows you to create, save & sell your online courses much like a normal e-commerce shop.
Udacity & Coursera became popular using such platforms, so this might be a great idea for your online course.
2. Traditional LMS
Traditional LMS are specially designed eLearning platforms which provide really professional features.
Other than creating & selling your course, it also allows you to mark your students progress, give them grades, rankings & lot more.
Due to its high-end functionality, these traditional LMS platforms are highly preferred by top businesses.
3. Open Source LMS
Open source LMS is a mirror image of traditional LMS but with a twist.
These platforms are free to use.
Furthermore, these platforms are highly customizable, so you can style your ecourse as per your need.
Open edx is a great example of open source LMS.
4. Modern LMS:
Modern LMS systems are highly focused on creating a user-friendly environment.
These platforms are specially designed for adapting to user behavior & make things easy for its students.
For example, It reduces the number of clicks taken to do a simple task.
5. Learning Management Ecosystem
LM ecosystem is a combo of everything.
These platforms take the best features from other platforms, mix them together, add a bit of their own flavor & then come up with something of their own.
LM ecosystem allows you to create content, provide a solid front end store to sell it, it has an adaptive learning engine, e-commerce features as well as other LMS integrations.
6. Custom LMS
As the name suggests, custom LMS is a highly customized online course platform.
It is specially designed to fulfill a specific need.
Such platforms are mostly used by high-end organizations or universities like the HBX platform used in Harvard Business School.
So, next time when you search for an online course platform, don’t forget to have a quick look at this list.
Let’s have a quick recap:
Being a marketing expert, you have to keep learning about new concepts.
I have taken many online courses as well.
In my early days, I literally took a course on best tools to create an online course.
So, whenever I need a new course, I look for few things.
What are they?
Yup, Features & benefits are important but they are all secondary things, the very first thing I look for in a course is “what’s trending”.
According to the rich kid report, there is a huge 912% increase in demand for big data.
And all the latest trends are based on this data only.
If a product is not worth it, People don’t give a shit.
So, if everyone is opting for a particular online course, it indicates the high value in it, otherwise who cares.
The same rule applies to pretty much everything, even for your online course platform.
So, let’s have a look at some of the most popular online course platforms:
Most popular online course platforms
When you talk about online course platform, the very first name which comes to mind is Udemy.
With over 12 million students & 20,000 instructors, Udemy is one of the most popular course platforms in today’s date.
And the best part is that it’s free to use, so you can start on the go.
If you’re new to course business & know nothing about how to sell your online course then Udemy is for you. Udemy has its own marketplace to sell your course.
You only have to pay a fix commission(50%) to Udemy for every student you get.
Thinkific is another free platform where you don’t pay anything for creating & uploading your course.
With over 35,000 teachers, Thinkific is really popular in education & marketing sector.
And yeah, they charge only 10% commission in the form of a transaction fee.
That’s cool..isn’t it?
Coursecraft is known for its easy to use interface.
This one is highly recommended for people having minimal design & coding skills.
You can easily start with a basic free plan with 9% transaction fee.
As you grow, you can switch to the society plan at 47$/month & zero transaction fee.
Teachable supports its users to a great extent.
With over 20,000 courses already uploaded on the platform, Teachable is growing fast.
This platform also helps new users in creating their course.
It offers free e-books to every user about content creation, working on videos & lot more.
There are some natural situations when your work gets interrupted & you can’t do anything.
For example, when your laptop dumps you or you don’t have access to your laptop.
To deal with such situations, Click4course has created a mobile-friendly course platform, it allows to create your ecourse on mobile also.
Plus you can manually add students & award percentages.
Skillshare is well known for its ecourse community of over 2 million teachers & students.
It allows you to create unique short videos for your online course.
And if you are growing fast enough, you can also create your own team of elearning instructors.
You can easily opt for any of these platforms.
They are cheap, fast & easy to use! best for beginners, highly recommended.
Still, modern marketers are not satisfied with it.
Why is it so?
See, Most of the marketers already have their separate websites or blogs & when they start their course on a different platform.
They have to switch between platforms for everything.(i.e. content updates, link distribution, marketing etc).
They have to put extra effort to bring everything in sync, simply waste of time.
So, if you’re are an experienced campaigner, who is looking for a more advanced course platform, then have a look at the list below.
All-In-One online course platforms
Kajabi is considered as one of the most professional online course platforms.
It allows you to create, store & sell online courses, plus it has good ratings as well.
It offers a wide range of services under one roof like:
- 0% Transaction fee.
- Free domain.
- Training portals.
- Email marketing.
- 24/7 Support.
- Quiz & surveys.
- Purchase based drip content.
- Special events & webinars.
- Access to Kajabi training university.
With so much under one roof, their basic pricing starts at 129$/month with 14 days free trial.
If you take their special challenge, the trial period can be extended to 28 days.
2. Academy of mine:
Academy of mine is another great all-in-one course platform well known for various out of the box features.
It runs on advanced TLS encryption which guarantees 100% secure server & it supports all types of devices including mobiles & tablets.
Plus they support different languages like Spanish, French, Portuguese, German etc.
Let’s have look at their core features:
- Multiple gateway support.
- Quizzes & exams.
- Grading system.
- Create & distribute pdf certificates.
- Supports html5
- Integrate Google analytics.
- Private messaging to tutors.
Their pricing starts at 199$/month.
It may seem a bit high but compared to the value that they are providing its nothing.
Rainmaker offers a wide range of services including marketing & selling of your course.
In fact, they have a lot more than that.
Lead pages, A/B testing, membership, podcasting, you name it & it’s in there.
Let’s have a closer look at the features of Rainmaker:
- Super fast & secure.
- 24/7 support.
- Supports HTML5 coding.
- Research & outreach tools.
- Full suite of podcasting.
- Editorial calendar.
- Email marketing & automation.
- Tools for SEO, content marketing & outreach.
- Tax payment.
- Affiliate system & lot more.
It is the most powerful platform for your online marketing course & you can connect with them to confirm their pricing.
However, their full annual package will cost you around 1,740$/year.
If you are on your way to becoming a full-fledged marketing agency, then I guess Learndash will suit you.
Learndash is the favorite online course platform of all the fortune 500 companies, international universities & organizations.
Why is it so?
It’s because of its ability to support multiple courses at the same time.
It offers some premium features like students management, report downloads & lot more.
Let’s see some of the key features of Learndash:
- Lesson timers.
- Certificates & badges.
- One time purchase, membership, bundle course.
- Offer their own marketplace to sell your course.
- Supports all devices i.e mobile, laptop.
- Create users group easily.
- Detailed reporting of progress like quiz report, grades etc.
- Assignment management.
But one of the major features which separate Learndash from other platforms is that it comes in the form of WordPress plugin as well.
According to 99 WordPress stats & facts, WordPress supports 28.6% of the total websites around the world & more than 22,000,000,000+ people visit WordPress sites every month.
With the Learndash WordPress plugin, you can increase your reach to a massive WordPress audience.
Not only that, it also allows you to operate on a multiple site WordPress network.
Sounds crazy but true.
You don’t want to miss out on such a huge audience, do you?
Business is numbers game, the more you get, the more you want.
So, you need a wider audience to sell your elearning course & the LearnDash WordPress plugin gives you just that.
But what if I say that Learndash is not the only player in the game.
There are various other sites which offer an online course platform in the form of a WordPress plugin.
Let’s have a look at them.
Online course platforms offering WordPress plugins
1. Lifter LMS
Lifter LMS allows you to create a multi-tier online course with various training modules, lessons & categories.
You can create courses of all sizes from mini course to a degree course.
And you know the best part of using WordPress plugins is that they expand their capabilities by integrating with other useful plugins & Lifter LMS is no different.
It combines with various helpful plugins like:
- Affiliate programs.
- E-commerce sites.
- Email marketing etc.
Plus it has other useful features like:
- Multiple payment gateway support.
- Content dripping.
- Course pre-requisites.
- Group membership.
- Gamification etc.
Sounds a pretty good deal, right.
Well, the price is also good, its basic plan costs 99$ for a single site.
LearnPress is another go to plugin for starting things with your online course.
It’s so easy to use that LearnPress claims that it is specially designed for lazy people.
You can create, manage & sell courses with LearnPress & it’s available in various languages like
The plugin is available free of cost & offers a lot of free add-on integrations like:
- Course Review
- Pre-Requisite courses
And for advanced users, it has some premium add-on features like:
- Random quiz
- No distraction mode
- Group payments.
- Drip content & lot more
It supports Amazon payments, Google checkout, Dwolla, Braintree & 3 other payment gateways.
On top of all, it’s free to use.
3. WP Courseware
WP Courseware is another great plugin with lots of features to create a full-size course.
It supports all devices & allows you to create multiple units, quizzes, and other core features.
But to stand out in the crowd it has some unique features to offer like:
- It allows you to create separate profiles of instructors.
- You can grade instructors as well.
- A grade-book for students.
- Customized emails.
However, it has a drawback that it doesn’t have an inbuilt payment system.
But, No worries.
You can easily connect it with other e-commerce payment plugins to receive payments.
Their pricing starts at 99$/month for 2 different websites & 1-year customer support.
If you are a Woocommerce fan, then you’ll love Sensei as well cause its developed by the same team.
Sensei is a solid WordPress plugin with all the core features of an online course platform like grading, progress report, drip content, badges etc.
Language localization & multisite support are some of the key features.
Overall, it’s a stable platform for your online course.
But in order to receive payments, you need to connect your platform with a Woocommerce shop.
And their pricing starts at 129$.
But here is a caution, if you’re a newbie & doing it for the first time then don’t forget to do some research on how to price your online course.
So, let’s have a quick recap.
When I created my first course, I was super excited about it & the content was also good.
Students were also joining it but they were not willing to stay.
And I was scratching my head.
So, why is it so?
So, I started my research & after an exhausting month-long struggle I found that my course was missing that basic step by step structure.
That’s why students were not able to grasp things properly.
Finally, I’ve to recreate everything in such a way that students can learn & grow over time.
And over the years I’ve developed a solid structure to create an online course & it works like a charm.
It’s so powerful that I created my book “Twisted marketing” using the same technique.
Check it out & leave some comments…