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Top 15 Platforms for Hosting Your Online Course

So you’ve decided to take the plunge and create an online course. There are plenty of good reasons why you should create a course, but with every decision comes plenty of options.

First, don’t let the options paralyze you. You can always make a change down the road. The important part is to get started. You basically have two options when it comes to creating an online course: self-host, or use a platform.

Platforms come in all shapes and sizes (and prices). Check out the top 15 platforms you can use to host your course.

Teachable

Price: $39-300 a month

Key components: Teachable was designed with teachers first in mind. Their motto is simple: “join thousands of teachers making a difference every day using Teachable.” Customize your tools by uploading pdf files, quizzes, and discussion forums. Marketing tools like coupons, sales pages, and affiliate programs help small business and entrepreneurs grow.

Thinktific

Price: $0-279 a month

Key components: With a free starting point and a modest 10% transaction fee, Thinkific offers the most tools for the lowest cost. Another major difference between Thinkific and Teachable is the payout. With Thinkific, you get paid as soon as somebody purchases your course. With Teachable, you need to wait until the end of the month to collect course income.

Udemy

Price: $0 to create a course (teachers keep 97% of revenue from customers they drive to their course, 50% of revenue from students who find their course on Udemy, and 25% from customers who find their course from paid ads)

Key components: While plenty of people will complain about potentially losing 75% of every course sale, take a step back and think about this for a moment. 10 million students are currently registered on Udemy. Udemy pays lots of money to advertise for your course and drive lots of traffic to your landing pages.

So sure, you lose some money but you also gain loads of exposure you would have to work really hard to gain otherwise.

Skillshare

Price: $8.25-15 a month for individuals,

Key components: Unlike Udemy, when you become a Skillshare member, you instantly receive access to the entire Skillshare database. In other words, you don’t pay for the individual courses. You pay a monthly fee that gives you access to 20,000 courses. Your membership goes directly towards paying for teachers and marketing their courses. Teachers receive income based on how many minutes students watch their courses across every platform each month.

Coursecraft

Price: $0-47 a month

Key components: Much like Thinktific, CourseCraft allows you to create courses for free. In exchange, they charge a 10% transaction fee for every course purchased. The free membership also caps the number of students per course at 100. CourseCraft supports payments from both Stripe and PayPal. Embedded forms make blog and website integration possible, allowing you to sell your course directly from your existing site.

ProProfs

Price: $59-499 a month

Key components: ProProfs is a professional training company designed to deliver high-quality courses for teams. Businesses can also create polls, flash cards, brain games, and surveys to name a few. Templates offer a quick setup for sales, HIPPA, employee, and OSHA training.

Kajabi

Price: $103-719 a month

Key components: Kajabi is more than a place to host your online courses. Kajabi allows you to create digital academies enhanced for your specific niche. You don’t need to know any code to build a full site with blogs, videos, and courses for your audience. With the most basic package, you can send up to 25,000 emails per month.

WizIQ

Price: Starts at $20 a month

Key components: With WizIQ, you can create live courses for students to attend at specific times. This allows tutors and teachers to offer live guidance and insight much like in a classroom setting.

Academy of Mine

Price: $199-449

Key components: Academy of Mine is similar to Kajabi in that it allows you to create your own website to run an online academy. A simple interface makes building your site your way easy. The all-inclusive dashboard allows users to view marketing, analytics, and SEO data all in one place.

Ruzuku

Price: $74.75-125

Key components: Ruzuku's basic package gets you unlimited courses and students for $75 a month. Plus Ruzuku does not charge any transaction fees. If you decide to upgrade your plan you get unlimited webinars, which help people get interested in your course.

Educadium

Price: $99-299 a month

Key components: Built specifically for teachers and schools across the globe, Educadium caters to organizations. Healthcare, government and corporate professionals can use Educadium to teach a target audience.

Pathwright

Price: $99-499 a month

Key components: Pathwright makes learning fun again. Students can ask questions in real time, teachers can lock content to schedule real-time quizzes. Instructors can offer students time to discuss questions during lessons and set up automatic grading to allow more time for course creation.

Digital Chalk

Price: $10-129 a month

Key components: Digital Chalk is a powerful LMS system that allows teachers and leaders to publish polished online courses. With video, testing, and quick assignments, teachers have the tools they need to reach their students in a variety of ways. Reward learners with certificates, rewards, and points throughout your course.

LearnDash

Price: $159-329 a month
Key components: LearnDash sets itself apart from the competition with advanced quizzes, scheduled content, lesson timers, and course prerequisites. WordPress integration makes setting up an online academy through WordPress less complicated.

LearnWorlds

Price: $24-199 a month

Key components: LearnWorlds offers multiple languages and customizable sales pages to attract new potential customers for your course. Custom domains, unlimited courses, and coupons to market your course are some of the features you get with LearnWords.

Things to keep in mind before you buy

Many of these platforms offer free two week trials. A great strategy then is to build a course first, then use a product to see how you like it. Hosting on a platform is not for everyone.

Remember that you always have the option to build and host your own course on any site you choose. It may take more work to get people to notice your course, but it usually means you keep all the profit.

Not all platforms are created equal. Some (Udemy, Skillshare, Coursecraft) instantly connect you with millions of students from their own database. They keep a higher percentage of profits but do all the marketing for you.

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Don't drive yourself crazy with the options. Pick something and roll with it. 

What platform have you tried in the past? What do you like about these LMS? What are some things that frustrate you when it comes to creating an online course?

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