Need to know how to choose the best platform for your online courses?

Looking for a place where you can learn something or share your knowledge with others?

In this guide, I'll explain the top five online course platforms.

I have extensive experience with online courses, and I've used this experience to narrow down a list of platforms I trust.

The virtual learning market is growing rapidly, so you can take advantage of your knowledge in different fields and pass it on to others in the form of online courses.

But first, you need to know what online course platforms are.

Let's get started.

What Is an Online Course Platform?

Online course platforms are systems that allow you to create, host and sell distance-learning courses.

Today, the number of platforms for online courses has grown dramatically, and statistics show that the virtual learning market will reach $243 billion by 2022.

Virtual learning platforms are very similar to the regular school classrooms we are all used to attending.

The teacher still teaches, but they do so through text, video and audio content, as well as images and various files.

Is it possible to start offering online course services?

Yes! If you have skills and knowledge to share, you have an opportunity to generate income through teaching and sales on any online course platform.

Best Online Course Platforms

  1. Thinkific - Best Online Platform for Beginners
  2. LearnWorlds - Best Online Interaction With Students
  3. Teachable - Best Balanced Online Platform
  4. Kajabi - Best Online Course Platform for Professionals
  5. Podia - Best for Building Membership Communities

1. Thinkific - Best Online Platform for Beginners

Thinkific review

Plans: $0 to $399 per month

Thinkific's powerful universal platform makes it easy to share your knowledge and make money, grow your audience and scale your business.

When you choose Thinkific, you are joining 50,000+ course creators who collectively have earned over $650 million.

Thinkific deservedly ranks first in my rating, and here's why:

To begin, Thinkific is the only platform on this list that offers a free plan. This plan provides an unlimited number of users, tests and polls, and content hosting.

Thinkific stands out from its competitors because of its impressive design customizations. With an easy-to-use drag-and-drop builder, the platform lets you easily customize your courses.

The platform's high-quality templates, which look great and are good for selling courses, also deserve special attention.

Secure cloud hosting and daily backups ensure your data and websites are fully protected.

Also, customer service has been very responsive. I've never had to wait more than three hours for an email response. 

Thinkific's three plans are Basic, Pro and Premier, and each comes with a number of its own features. Here are just a few—I'm sure you'll be impressed: unlimited users, live lessons via Zoom, the ability to issue certificates to students and integration of various applications using Zapier without the need for a WordPress plugin.

Pricing is quite flexible due to the wide choice of plans. You just have to choose the most suitable and convenient plan for your needs. The nice part about Thinkific's pricing is the lack of transaction fees, which combined with the free plan makes Thinkific the leading online course platform with the best value on the market.

What I Like:

  • Best pricing on the market
  • Free plan available
  • No transaction fees
  • Great design
  • Convenient drag-and-drop builder
  • Integration of various applications using Zapier
  • Good customer support
  • Data security
  • Graduation certificates

What I Don't Like:

  • No mobile app


I recommend Thinkific as the best platform for aspiring online course creators. This is primarily due to the availability of a free plan that lets you test your skills. And the easy-to-use drag-and-drop builder lets you create courses with ease, even without coding knowledge.

This platform will help you gain the necessary experience to launch your online course and become a real professional!

2. LearnWorlds - Best Online Interaction With Students

LearnWorlds review

Plans: $24 to $249 per month + 30-day free trial

Next on the list is another fantastic course builder, LearnWorlds. This platform provides everything you need to create, promote and sell your courses.

The strongest side of the platform is interactivity—the ways you can interact with your students. You can add questions, titles, pointers, overlays, quizzes, links and more to your video courses!

Your students will definitely benefit from this personalized approach. During the course, they can take notes, highlight important points and receive certificates of completion.

All this happens through Zoom for real-time classes with full participant interaction.

You can make your courses more vivid and interesting without the need for time-consuming post-processing. And interesting courses lead to greater audience reach.

LearnWorlds' hundreds of design templates are perfect for creating your courses. Everyone will find something that works for them.

To create your online classroom, you can use LearnWorlds' ready-made course catalogs and add your own content. These directories include interactive advanced features such as online quizzes, videos, eBooks and downloadable attachments.

LearnWorlds also offers flexible features such custom domains, the ability to issue certificates of completion, integrations with various services, four payment systems (PayPal, Stripe, 2Checkout and Shopify) and many more useful tools.

Plus, all of the plans come with a 30-day warranty, multilingual interface and built-in social networking.

What about integrations?

To increase sales, you can connect your courses to dozens of virtual marketing and affiliate tools such as Zapier, Zoom, Mailchimp, Google, ConvertKit.

When it comes to pricing, LearnWorlds might surprise you. Their plans start at $24 per month and are second only to Thinkific in this regard. You get a huge number of features that make it easy to not only create and sell online courses but also effectively expand your audience.

In addition, LearnWorlds offers a 30-day free trial.

What I Like:

  • Best platform for online user interaction
  • 30-day free trial
  • Very low prices
  • Good marketing and affiliate tools
  • Attractive templates
  • Integration with dozens of services
  • Four payment systems
  • Good customer support

What I Don't Like:

  • No mobile app
  • No bulk content upload functionality

I recommend LearnWorlds for those looking to quickly expand their audience through advanced interactive learning, even in the early stages of development. Most online course platforms focus only on validating course-related information, while LearnWorlds is designed for social interaction between teachers and students.

And the low prices for plans make using this platform the most enjoyable!

Even though LearnWorlds is #2 on the list, if you want to create interactive learning through videos, quizzes and other fun elements, this platform is the best choice.

3. Teachable - Best Balanced Online Platform

Teachable review

Plans: $29 to $249 per month.

Next on my list is Teachable, the most balanced online learning platform. This balance is achieved by the combination of low plan prices and reliable functionality.

By registering, you will join 68,000+ educators who have made over $338 million in online course sales.

I want to go straight to the main features of Teachable so you have an idea of how great the platform is:

Unlimited users, instant payouts, integrated affiliate and email marketing, certificates of completion and coaching products are some of the best features.

But that's not all! Plans also include unlimited video and hosting, quizzes, integrated payment processing, student management, and VAT (value-added tax) for EU users.

Coaching enables you to easily launch an individual or group program in which you can more effectively teach your students.

Quizzes will allow you to keep track of student progress and expand your audience reach.

A handy page builder lets you customize your online courses with an intuitive user interface. And Teachable's mobile app allows you to work from anywhere.

How about marketing?

Conversion-optimized landing pages, an affiliate program and a huge number of marketing integrations make it easy to promote and sell your online courses. You can integrate with services like Mailchimp, Ontraport, Mixpanel and other promotion tools through the Zapier app.

Are you interested in the security of your personal data and online courses?

This is what Teachable guarantees:

  • Flawless hosting to protect your data
  • 24/7 monitoring
  • Payment service providers that are PCI Level 1 compliant so your data and your students' data is safe

The prices for Teachable plans are quite low, and the number of features provided is impressively large. Teachable is widely regarded as one of the most affordable online platforms, but unfortunately does not offer a free trial.

What I Like:

  • Data security
  • Low prices for plans
  • Optimized marketing tools
  • Convenient page builder
  • Certificates of completion
  • Interesting quizzes
  • Mobile app
  • Good customer support

What I Don't Like:

  • Limited site themes
  • No free trial


Teachable is a well-balanced platform that's great for creating and selling your online courses. By combining low prices with well-developed plans and flexible functions, the platform supports your online course goals.

And data security will allow you to work comfortably while you create your own online school.

4. Kajabi - Best Online Course Platform for Professionals

kajabi review

Plans: $119 to $319 per month + 14-day free trial

Kajabi is a one-stop online course platform for professional use.

More than 41 million people trust and purchase content through Kajabi, which has helped them generate over $1.5 billion in revenue.

Kajabi beats its competitors as an absolute leader in sales and marketing functions. I'm talking about Kajabi Pipelines, automated marketing and sales funnels whose function is to create entire workflows that include landing pages to attract new leads, promote your product, host webinars or make sales.

Kajabi also has built-in email marketing automation capabilities so you can track leads or send automated sales emails.

When it comes to promoting courses and engaging your users, Kajabi does a great job! Its course player has one of the most attractive designs of any platform I've used, helping to give your courses a great look.

The Kajabi online course platform offers three plans: Basic, Growth and Pro. Together, they provide a large number of unique features, including:

Unlimited marketing emails, webinars and events, quizzes to attract people to online courses, advanced email marketing automation and integrations with Active Campaign, Mailchimp and AWeber.

Kajabi's plans are undoubtedly more expensive than those of other online platforms, but the platform really knows what it's doing, as they are trusted by over 18,000 companies.

Plus, you get a 30-day money-back guarantee.

You'll be delighted to learn that you can use Kajabi through a mobile app. And the company's operational support service responds to any questions as soon as possible.

To ensure you enjoy the powerful functionality of Kajabi, you can take advantage of a 14-day free trial to familiarize yourself with the platform.

What I Like:

  • Powerful automated marketing
  • Mobile app
  • Excellent course design
  • Educational quizzes and webinars
  • Integrations with Active Campaign, Mailchimp and AWeber
  • 14-day free trial
  • 24/7 support via email and live chat

What I Don't Like:

  • High price
  • No course completion certificates


If you are looking for a professional product with which you can turn your ideas into a flawless, high-quality course in minutes, Kajabi is the perfect solution. After all, with such advanced marketing tools, you can market and sell your courses with no hassle.

5. Podia - Best for Building Membership Communities

podia review

Plans: $39 to $79 per month + 14-day free trial

Podia is a great software solution suitable not only for experienced professionals but also for beginners!

You can join 25,000+ users and start creating your online courses and selling them to students.

Here's what Joy Cho, Founder & Creative Director of Oh Joy!, says:

"I've wanted to offer e-courses for a while but always felt overwhelmed with how to set it up. Podia has made it super easy to create a website for this new part of my business. The tools are super easy to navigate, and their team is super quick to help answer any questions you have."

One of the most useful features of Podia I've discovered is clever membership creation. You will be able to combine your courses, develop a personal online community and create separate posts to send information to your audience on a regular basis.

Podia's membership site software will also allow you to collect emails and strengthen relationships with your community by sharing all sorts of content.

Podia is the only online course platform that removes restrictions on members, plans, emails sent and content hosting. You get full control and flexibility to grow your business.

Podia's strengths are undoubtedly its webinars. Sell them or give them away for free to expand your mailing list. You will be able to conduct them live with an unlimited number of participants.

When your webinar ends, Podia saves the recording so you can allow new customers to purchase a replay.

Podia makes it easy to create and sell your online courses by providing all the tools you need, no third-party integrations required.

Need help moving your content and audience to Podia?

I have some good news for you: migrations are free for any annual plan! Simply communicate your request to the support team and Podia will move your content to its platform quickly and efficiently.

The interesting thing about Podia's pricing is that there are only two plans to choose from: one for $39 per month and one for $79 per month. These plans have all the most powerful features that are available in the more expensive plans offered by other online platforms.

You can also take advantage of a 14-day free trial to familiarize yourself with the platform and its basic features.

What I Like:

  1. Advanced membership features
  2. Optimized webinars
  3. Great prices
  4. 14-day free trial
  5. Free migration to Podia
  6. Good customer support

What I Don't Like:

  1. No mobile app
  2. Lack of ready-made templates

All in all, if you're looking for advanced membership functionality and the ability to increase your sales through webinars, Podia is a unique and worthwhile course builder that will definitely pay off.

How To Choose the Best Platform for Online Courses

As I said earlier, the virtual platform market is booming today. Each course platform has a number of individual characteristics that you must consider when choosing. Right now, I'm going to tell you about the most important criteria that you will need to successfully deploy your online courses.

User experience

Consider your personal user experience when registering. Of course, I've described platforms that are great for beginners, but with information, it will be easier for you to navigate them.

The ease with which you can effectively use features and complete tasks will depend on how knowledgeable you are about online platforms and how often you use them.

I hope my ranking list above will help you with that!

Features

Each online course platform has its own set of features to suit different people.

In this regard, I suggest paying attention to the following:

  • Student management tools
  • Is there a possibility of integrations? Do you need them?
  • Design tools
  • Data security

By taking into account which features are most important to you based on how you want to create and promote courses, you'll definitely be able to choose the most suitable platform.

Marketing tools

I decided to include these in a separate section because they play the most important role in the ability to promote and sell your courses. Of course, marketing tools are present in every virtual platform today, but they all have their own characteristics and differences in functionality.

Use marketing tools correctly and you will be successful in selling online courses. I will close this topic with the words of Peter Drucker:

"The goal of marketing is to minimize sales efforts. Ideally, marketing should create a ready-to-buy consumer."

Unique traits

All virtual learning platforms would be pretty much the same if they didn't have individual characteristics or strengths, right?

Some may be the best for online learning, while others have the most optimized tools for building membership.

Additional features are an important aspect when choosing one of the best platforms for online courses: These features help you invest your time and money wisely.

Pricing

Price is the question that worries almost every person in the world. Who wants to pay thousands of dollars for a course creator without knowing if anything will come of it?

This is why I talk about pricing so often—so each user has an idea of how much they will need to pay for the service or if they will need to pay at all. And it's not in vain that I touch on the topic of free trial periods, because these let you get acquainted with the platform and have an idea of your future work.

Support service

You're likely to have questions while using a platform and building your online courses. Customer support is therefore a big factor in choosing a platform. Their response time determines whether you'll be able to keep working comfortably.

With all my experience of using platforms for creating online courses, I found that not every platform's support service copes with its task quickly, and I sometimes had to wait a long time for a response. Pay attention to this if your time is precious to you.

Final Thoughts

Online course platforms will help you start making money online, increase your audience reach and transfer your knowledge to students.

When choosing the best platform for online courses, do your own research: consider monthly costs, marketing and other features that work for you.

Each platform allows you to easily upload content, teach students and increase sales. But the deciding factor is you.

In the end, the success of your courses depends on the quality of the content and how well you can promote it.

There are a huge number of potential course topics and even more users willing to learn. Therefore, when choosing the best platform for online courses, choose the features that are right for you and that will help you reach those users.

If you're ready, why not get started today?

Vlad Khvatov

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About the Author

Vlad made over $100,000 in less than a year thanks to his blog—and this is just the beginning of his journey. He is an online entrepreneur and SEO and affiliate marketing expert. Now Vlad focuses on teaching others—his personal experience will help thousands of new bloggers learn how to create websites and improve their lives.

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