Creating an Online Course

Choosing an Online Platform for your Online Course - Which is Best for You?

Table of Contents

You might be getting into selling online courses. But to sell online courses, you need a solid platform that allows you 

Besides that, the type of platform you use also allows you to create a solid brand image. 

In today’s post, we will discuss the best online course platforms and learning management systems. 

Quick Summary

By the end of this article, we will discuss the following things.

  • Types of Online Course Platforms.
  • Online Course Creation Software.
  • How to Create and Sell Online Courses.

Let’s get started.

Online Course Platforms

Course creators always struggle when they have to choose an online course platform. Why is that? Because the internet is filled with a plethora of options.

You can create and sell using landing pages or a course website in mere minutes. In order to create an online course business, you just have to make the right choice. 

But how do you determine which platform is best for you?

This question might seem easy to answer. You can just choose this platform or just make a standalone website. But there are a number of factors that weigh in.

These factors can be based on anything. The type of platform, its plans, its benefits, and even the accessibility for your customers. 

Let’s discuss how you can select an online course platform based on these aspects.

Type of Platform

As a course creator, there are two main things you can do to sell courses. Use your ability to create and form your own website. 

On the other hand, you can use membership sites to create sales pages or even an entire sales store for your online course content.

What is an example of a membership site?

For example, if we compare Shopify and Storenvy, both can help you create a marketing automation system for your course sales. 

You can check our detailed comparison of Shopify vs Storenvy by clicking here. The marketing features are quite identical but Shopify is affordable for newcomers. 

We have also compared the pricing options of Shopify in our Shopify Lite vs Basic post.

As you can see that even after selecting a particular platform for online courses, the decision is still tough to make. 

What if I want something more specific?

The above-mentioned online course platforms are indirect as they provide a platform that allows you to create a means for selling courses. 

But it is important to note that they don’t directly sell courses. If you want to get into directly creating and selling courses online, things get different. 

Udemy and Udacity are two leading platforms for you to create courses and sell them. You can check our step-by-step comparison in the Udemy vs Udacity post to get a better idea.

That’s nearly enough for you to make your decision yet. Udacity and Udemy both have their competitors. 

Which brands do they compete with?

Udemy’s two biggest competitors among online learning platforms are Pluralsight and Teachable.

As an online learning platform, Udemy also allows you to create online courses. But so do Pluralsight and Teachable. 

How do you choose between two options when they have identical features like course creation?

You can check our comparison in Udemy vs Pluralsight and Udemy vs Teachable posts. We have discussed things like customer support, digital downloads, and zero transaction fees in detail.

Are there options for newcomers?

You don’t have to sell your online courses on a big platform right away. You can start small and then move your way to the big leagues with the help of social media and email marketing.

One learning platform of such sort is edX. We have compared it with Udacity and Udemy in our edX vs Udacity and edX vs Udemy posts.

Online Platforms for You

The other side of the picture is if you want to create your website to sell unlimited courses without any payment gateways. 

There are multiple ways to do it as well. Either you can take inspiration from websites like CodeAcademy, Udacity, Treehouse, and Pluralsight.

Or you can learn different skills like programming and data science to increase your individual skills if you are looking to create your personal website.

What’s the difference between these two methods?

Course creators always have different opinions when it comes to creating their own platform. It comes with freedom of creativity and experimentation at the cost of affiliate marketing.

You can create your own Learning Management System/LMS but it will be difficult for you to reach students and other individuals. 

What if I want to skills related to web development and coding?

There are multiple platforms that are teaching online regarding IT skills and back-end coding. CodeAcademy, Udacity, Pluralsight, and Treehouse are just to name a few.

We have compared these platforms in detail so you can get a better idea of each learning platform. 

We have compared CodeAcademy vs Udacity, Udacity vs Treehouse, Pluralsight vs Treehouse, Treehouse vs CodeAcademy, CBT Nuggets vs Pluralsight with detailed analysis. 

Treehouse and Pluralsight seem identical in their operations, how do I decide?

This is exactly why selecting online course platforms are so hard to select. You can check our Treehouse review and Pluralsight review to differentiate. 

We have also discussed the pricing plans for Treehouse in our Treehouse Basic vs Pro comparison. You can learn how different pricing plans can affect your decision.

Another leading brand in IT skills is Zenva. It is often overlooked by newcomers but you can find many useful skills for your web development there. Here’s a detailed Zenva review for you.

Online Platforms for Tutors

You might want to use your ability to create and teach those courses at the same time. Which platform suits you best then?

Worry not, there are multiple platforms with features like selling and tutoring for course creators. You can either be a course creator, a tutor, or even both. 

It depends on your personal preference. But it is always good to have such options in your backpack.

What platforms should I choose for online course tutoring?

Currently, there are only a few online course platforms that allow the duality of creating and teaching. 

The top name in the market is LinkedIn Learning. We have an in-depth LinkedIn Learning review that’ll tell you about all its features. 

LinkedIn Learning is a platform from online courses that were previously available on Lynda. 

These two platforms merged to create a single and bigger online course platform.

Here is a detailed comparison of Lynda vs LinkedIn Learning to give you a better idea of their differences and operations. 

Coursera and Pluralsight are two other services that allow you to create and teach at the same time.

Which platform is better for teaching, Coursera or Pluralsight?

Since there is no direct way to compare these two platforms due to their identical features. We used Lynda as a benchmark. 

You can check our analysis of Coursera vs Lynda and Lynda vs Pluralsight by clicking on the respective links. 

Coursera is an exceptional course builder while on the other hand, Pluralsight is user-friendly with over a million students on their platform. 

We also compared Coursera to other platforms that have a built-in course builder for your convenience. You can check that Udemy vs Coursera vs Udacity comparison here. 

Online Course Platform for Data Science

Data science has been on the rise in the past decade. As more and more people are shifting towards the online course marketplace, the data from these trends is becoming highly valuable.

How is this data useful?

To put it simply, it can make or break your business. You can use the data from different trends to predict future sales or you can use it to amend low-performing parts of your business. 

It depends on your ability to use this data to your advantage. Luckily, there are many platforms you can learn this skill from. 

Datacamp is a great example of such a platform. You can take online courses and excel in things like email marketing, drag and drop builders, and utilizing your courses.

Is Datacamp worth my time?

It comes down to a matter of personal choice if you want to learn such a skill or not. Although you can check our detailed guides and comparison of Datacamp with other platforms. 

We compared Datacamp with three leading platforms in the market. Here are CodeAcademy vs Datacamp , Datacamp vs Coursera , Datacamp vs Udacity comparisons for you.

Once you learn the tricks of using data, you can also use the above-mentioned platforms better. You can use the data generated from these platforms to determine your strengths and weaknesses. 

Online Course Platforms for Beginners

It is not the right move to get into the big leagues as a course creator or a tutor. You will find yourself clueless about a lot of things pretty quickly. 

However, there is also no need to worry about it. You can start from small platforms, build your community and work yourself to these big platforms. 

This method is much more effective because it benefits you in multiple ways. 

So, the question is, how can use it to your advantage?

One main reason is that you can save a lot of money on the transaction fees. Once you sell an online course, you can get up to 80% of that money. 

Hence, you won’t be held down by high transaction fee rates and can use these funds to build your brand. 

The second reason is community building. It is quite easy to build a strong and stable community if you start on a small platform. 

What if there aren’t enough people for me to build a community on a platform?

It is a gradual process, you can’t just build a community overnight. However, you can help the process by choosing the right platform. 

Tutorvista and Ruzuku are two examples of such platforms. You can check our reviews on Tutorvista and Ruzuku by clicking on the links. 

Both of these platforms are promising and can help your brand’s community building. You can easily build a virtual classroom and earn a stable income per month. 

Domains for Online Course Platform

If you are interested in building your own website and using a page builder to create your desired outlook, the first step is to get a good domain. 

What benefit can I get from a domain?

A domain is a basic step towards creating your brand image. If you have a standalone website, it’s crucial that is accessible at all times. 

The amount of data you are going to put on your website can easily crash a low-tier domain. This can seriously hurt your brand image. 

We must also mention that security is another aspect of choosing a good domain. Since you’ll be hosting all your data on a foreign server, it is susceptible to breach attempts and hacks

Last but not the least, compatibility. Your most likely going to build your website using WordPress. 

So it is important that features like WordPress Plugin and WordPress LMS are compatible with your domain.

Which service should I choose for my domain?

Namecheap and Hover are two benchmark services you can use for your domain purposes. Here’s a detailed Namecheap vs Hover analysis for you to understand their operations. 

Namecheap has a basic plan that is beneficial for beginners while Hover is loaded with features. 

You can experiment with these services before paying extra money per month for extra features.

Online Course Platform for Passive Earning

As an online course creator, you want to create multiple income streams related to your online courses. You can use your own website or publish your course on a different website. 

The best online course platforms in the market take a fee cut from every purchase, but what if there was a platform that won’t sell your course? 

There is another variety of platforms that enable you to publish your course related to specific topics for students. 

How does such a platform work?

Course Hero and Chegg are two examples of such platforms. Their operation is quite similar to any Pay-to-View service. 

You can search for a specific topic and pay to view that information instead of just buying a complete online course. 

Here’s an analysis of Course Hero vs Chegg for you to learn about these platforms. 

Is there any other way to earn passive money online?

In fact, there is. Affiliate Marketing can help you develop a passive income stream. You can sign up for a service and promote their link in order to earn money. 

Yoonla is an example of such an Affiliate Marketing service. Once you sign up, you’ll be assigned a unique link. Every link click can earn you between $2-$4 easily. 

Here’s a detailed Yoonla review for your convenience. But it is important to note that your earning is solely dependent on the number of clicks. 

Online Platforms related to Course Selling

Your online courses might not always be directly related to educational material. They can be informational courses about different topics. 

So, what platform should you choose for such a purpose? 

The answer is simple, Patreon. Over the last few years, Patreon has embedded itself in the online market as a hub for freelancers and content creators. 

You develop your course website and advertise them separately on Patreon. But it is important to note that Patreon is mostly used for art-related material and courses.

Here’s a detailed review of Patreon in which we discuss all its aspects. 

Does Patreon have an independent payment system?

Yes, as a large-scale business, Patreon has an in-house payment mechanism. But you can other platforms like Ko-fi for your payments and donations.

Here’s an analysis of Ko-fi and how it works. You might be thinking if it’s better than Patreon. The answer to your question is in our detailed comparison of Ko-fi vs Patreon.

You can check this analysis and make an informed decision about your choice of the payment system.

Are there any other platforms for art-related courses?

Yes, there are multiple platforms that you can use for anything related to art. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of Zazzle vs Redbubble, the two most used platforms.

Zazzle comes with easily accessible customer support while Redbubble has an exceptional in-house page builder for your courses.

Key Takeaways

Here are some key takeaways from all the information we stated above:

  • It is important to determine what sort of business store you want, standalone or affiliated. Both of these options have their own pros and cons.
  • Gathering data from your users’ purchase behavior and market trends can help you a lot with marketing and elevating your sales. 
  • Learning about back-end operations can benefit you a lot in case you ever face any technical problems.
  • It is crucial to do your research beforehand about different platforms. This will enable you to make a better choice and save a lot of trouble down the road. 
  • You should never put all your eggs in a single basket. Always try to create multiple income streams to support your business. 

Wrapping Things Up…

The online market is filled with a wide variety of course selling platforms and it might be a lot to take in at first. But research is your friend in this scenario. 

Selecting the best online course platform to sell your courses depends on a list of factors. These factors can vary from business to business. In our opinion, your choice should be a platform that not only provides a bunch of features but also creative freedom. 

This brings us to the finish line of our article on choosing an online platform.

Do let us which platforms have you used in the past.