As a course creator or online coach, choosing the right online course platform to host your online courses can be daunting.
There are so many choices, and so many features, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you.
So, let’s simplify things.
In this post, I’ll show you some of the top choices available to creators and learners in 2023. Whether you’re just starting or looking to switch to a new platform, you’ll learn the highs and lows of each option.
Let’s dive in!
Xperiencify is an online course platform that uses the psychology of gamification to engage students.
What Are Xperiencify’s Standout Features?
Xperiencify stands out from other platforms with its unique “Experience Engine” feature. This engine helps you create customized course experiences that grab students’ attention and keeps them engaged from start to finish. Additionally, each course is personalized to students to give them a unique experience that caters to their individual learning needs.
Community options help students stay connected and engaged with each other throughout the course. And gamification features like FOMO (fear of missing out) and rewards to keep your students motivated and on track.
Xperiencify also offers automated popup messages, emails and texts to encourage your students and keep them engaged as they navigate the course material. And as a full-feature CRM, you can filter and tag students for advanced communication.
Suppose you need customization beyond what is offered. Xperiencify has an open APU and advanced Zapier integrations, making it easy to tailor your courses to your specific needs.
Xperiencify also provides single and multi-payment capabilities, which allow you to offer flexible payment options for your courses.
How Much Does Xperiencify Cost?
You can build your course on Xperiencify for free. There’s no charge until your course goes live.
When you’re ready to publish, you can get started for as little as $41.58/month when you pay annually and $49/month if you prefer to pay monthly.
Who Should Use Xperiencify?
Xperiencify is an excellent choice for course creators who want to use gamification to create engaging and personalized courses that keep their students motivated and on track for the finish line.
2. LinkedIn Learning
Formerly known as Lynda, LinkedIn Learning is an online course platform geared toward professionals. Topics center around business, technology and personal development.
What Are LinkedIn Learning’s Standout Features?
One of the standout features of LinkedIn Learning is that they actively seek professionals to contribute content. If you have topical authority, you may be recruited by LinkedIn Learning.
But you don’t have to wait for LinkedIn to come to you. You can apply to become a LinkedIn instructor. You’ll fill out a form and include a 1-2 minute video sample that shows your teaching style.
Once you’re accepted as an instructor, LinkedIn will assign professional engineers and designers to take care of the technical side of your course creation. You’ll also work with a content manager and producer to create your course, ensuring that it meets the high standards set by LinkedIn Learning.
Typically, marketing your course can be a challenge, but LinkedIn has a built-in audience that makes it easier for you to reach potential students.
You will have limited control over the final product, as the course must meet LinkedIn standards. And LinkedIn will have the final say on any points of contention.
How Much Does LinkedIn Learning Cost?
It won’t cost you anything to host your course on LinkedIn Learning.
You’ll earn royalties based on how many students watch your courses and how long their watch time is. The longer they watch, the more money you make.
Who Should Use LinkedIn Learning?
With its built-in audience and support from the LinkedIn Learning team, it’s a terrific option for course creators whose target audience is on LinkedIn.
3. iSpring Learn
iSpring Learn is a learning management system (LMS) for businesses that want a corporate training solution.
What Are iSpring Learns’s Standout Features?
One of the best features of iSpring Learn is the possibility for interactive course creation. You can build courses that include role play and assessments to keep your employees engaged and motivated throughout the training process.
iSpring Learn also has other built-in features that encourage employee engagement. For example, you can use gamification elements like badges and leaderboards to motivate your employees to complete their training.
iSpring integrates with human resources management software, so managing your employees’ training records is easy. And you also get data and analytics tracking to help you monitor student progress and course effectiveness.
If you want a marketplace to sell your courses, iSpring Learn integrates with iSpring Market, where you can sell your courses. And suppose you need assistance building your lessons. In that case, you can use iSpring Suite to help you create interactive and engaging content.
How Much Does iSpring Learn Cost?
iSpring pricing is based on a per-user model. You only pay for active users.
If you have 100 users, your cost is $2.87/per user/per month, billed annually. The price goes up as the number of users increases.
Who Should Use iSpring Learn?
iSpring Learn is an excellent choice for businesses needing a comprehensive LMS solution with the option for interactive course creation.
Udemy is an online learning platform with more than 50 million registered students and has 150,000+ courses taught by expert instructors.
What Are Udemy’s Standout Features?
One of Udemy’s standout features is its Marketplace Insights tool. This tool allows you to see what topics are in demand. Creating courses around popular topics increases your chances of success on the platform.
Udemy offers a free Test Video service that allows you to submit a sample video and receive feedback on your audio, video, and background quality before you film your course.
Another great feature is the Quality Review Process. This process ensures that your course meets quality standards before you publish it so students have a positive learning experience.
Udemy has numerous language options, making it easy to reach a global audience. This is particularly useful for course creators who speak various languages and want to expand their reach beyond English-speaking countries.
With Udemy, you maintain ownership of your content and can continue to sell it on other platforms. Udemy only asks that you don’t sell your course for a lower price than the Udemy site.
How Much Does Udemy Cost?
It costs nothing to host your course on Udemy.
Udemy instructors are paid through a revenue share model. You’ll receive 97% of the revenue if a student purchases your course via your instructor coupon or referral link.
If a student purchases your course without your instructor coupon or referral link—maybe through a Udemy ad or by browsing the Udemy website—you receive 37% of the revenue.
Who Should Use Udemy?
Udemy would be a fine option for new course creators who need a built-in audience and want the feedback and assistance offered via Udemy.
Kajabi is a course platform that offers numerous features and services. You can host your course on Kajabi, and the Kajabi platform can also handle the marketing and sales aspects of your course business.
What Are Kajabi’s Standout Features?
What makes Kajabi unique among online course software is that Kajabi is so much more than a learning platform.
With Kajabi, you have access to an all-in-one tool for hosting a website, building landing pages, optimizing funnels, managing your email marketing, and more. You have one complete approach to managing your business.
Kajabi offers customizable templates and design tools, so you can create courses of all sizes, from mini-courses to signature programs. You can tailor your classes to meet the needs of your audience and provide them with a unique learning experience.
The Kajabi mobile app is a handy feature that gives students one-click access to your course even when on the go. They can learn at their own pace and on their own schedule, which can help increase student engagement and retention rates.
Kajabi also has 24/7 support from a team of experts who can help you with any questions or issues that arise. There’s no need to piece together advice from different message boards and community forums when you encounter a problem.
Kajabi integrates with Stripe and PayPal, giving your students multiple payment options.
How Much Does Kajabi Cost?
Kajabi starts at $119/month when you pay annually.
Who Should Use Kajabi?
Kajabi is an excellent choice for course creators who want an all-in-one platform that streamlines the course creation and marketing process.
Thinkific is a learning platform where course creators can build, host, market, and sell online courses.
Thinkific also works for membership programs and community offerings.
What Are Thinkific’s Standout Features?
Thinkific allows you to bundle your website and course platform, creating a seamless experience for your students. You can customize the tools to match your brand so your brand experience remains cohesive for users.
Another great feature of Thinkific is the drip scheduling option. You can release course content at specific intervals, keeping your students engaged and motivated. You can also offer live events like webinars or Q&A sessions to provide additional value and interaction with your students.
With Thinkific, you can sell bundles, offer coupons, and utilize up-selling and cross-selling techniques. This means you can offer additional products or services to your students, providing them with increased value and satisfaction with your courses and increasing your revenue.
Detailed analytics is another standout feature of Thinkific. You can track student progress, engagement rates, and revenue data to understand how your courses serve your students. Use this information to make informed decisions about future course offerings and marketing strategies.
Finally, Thinkific allows you to transition easily between plans as your business grows. This means you can start with a basic plan and upgrade as needed without losing any of your content or data.
How Much Does Thinkific Cost?
You can host one course on Thinkific for free, with limited features. Paid plans start at $36/month when you pay annually.
Who Should Use Thinkific?
Thinkific would be a good choice for beginning course builders who are willing to work with limited features while they build the revenue that supports a paid plan.
Skillshare is an online learning community for individuals who want to uplevel their creative skills.
Course topics center around creative activities like crafts, graphic design, and photography. But there are also classes for entrepreneurship and personal development.
What Are Skillshare’s Standout Features?
Skillshare is an online course platform that operates on a membership model. Students buy a membership plan and have access to Skillshare courses.
One of the benefits of using Skillshare as your course platform is that there is no cost for publishing a course. Additionally, you can post unlimited courses on Skillshare, allowing you to share your expertise on multiple topics.
Skillshare offers in-depth tutorials to help you plan your course content effectively. These tutorials cover everything from choosing a topic to creating engaging video content that keeps your students motivated and on track.
Skillshare has a built-in audience of over 800 thousand members. This means your course has the potential to reach a large audience. However, classes must meet Skillshare guidelines, and your course must include a hands-on project.
Last, Skillshare has a mobile app that allows students to learn on the go. Your courses are accessible to students wherever they are, increasing the convenience and value of your content.
How Much Does Skillshare Cost?
It is free to publish courses on Skillshare.
Earnings on Skillshare are based on minutes watched, which means the more engaging and valuable your content is, the more money you can earn.
In addition to earning revenue from minutes watched, you can also earn by referring new people to Skillshare using your unique referral link.
Who Should Use Skillshare?
With no upfront costs and unlimited course publishing capabilities, Skillshare provides a low-risk opportunity for course creators looking to expand their reach and impact.
Which Online Course Platform Is Right for You?
Do you have a favorite online course platform that’s worked well for you?
If you’ve never used one, which platform seems like the best fit?
Let me know in the comments below!
But before you go…
I’ve been showing people — from all walks of life and every industry under the sun — how to successfully share their knowledge and experience with the world through an online course…
And now it’s your turn!
Which is why I wanted to invite you to my FREE Course Creation Masterclass — How to Use Your Knowledge, Skills or Passions to Create a High-Impact Online Course
In just about 90 minutes, you’ll discover the 3 secrets to create & launch (yes, launch!) an online course or program… in no time at all.
So go ahead and save your seat or share the Masterclass link with someone who could use it 🙂
Love it? Hate it? Let me know...
Thank you for this overview of online learning platforms. Your article confirmed what I knew about a few (Thinkific & Kajabi), educated me about others I had heard about (LinkedIn Learning and Udemy), and exposed me to platforms I had never heard of.
This article is a substantial time saver if you shop for an online platform.
Marisa appreciates the love, Ed! Thanks for reading 🙂
Hi Marissa, thanks for this list. I use LearnDash as it integrates with my WP website, WooCommerce and our membership. Clients don’t have to go to a third party site to log in, etc. Also all course materials and back-up are directly in our own site. Just another option!
It is Xperiencify for me. Full use of points, celebrations and putring the XP engine to good use with emails and txtmessages. Some Zapier as well when it is all done
Yes, Xperiencify is the BEST 🙂 Thank you for reading!
what about getcourse.com? is a good one?
Learn Dash as it works with WordPress so you don’t have to go onto a third party site and has many gamification features.
What about MasterMind.com, there fees are only $47 a month and you get lots of training as well.
Thanks, this is a great summary.
Thank you, Maura, Marisa appreciates it!
Thanks for this. I have Kajabi and don’t love the community aspect. I am using circle.so for courses and community building. You may want to check them out – they seem up and coming with a unique product that is more user friendly like FB used to be.
Thanks Sasha! We’re actually starting to build our communities inside Xperiencify 🙂 Thanks for reading and for the suggestion!