Are you a course creator or an aspiring course creator? If so, then you’ve probably been wondering about the best platforms to sell online courses so that you can teach people and showcase your knowledge — while not breaking the bank.
As more and more people make the move to e-learning, online courses are really starting to become more popular.
These courses allow people to not only learn more about their interests from the comfort of home, but they help people make money online and become an entrepreneur themselves — while learning directly from the pros.
If you have a hobby or a question that you commonly get asked in your industry, then it might be time that you develop a curriculum around that topic.
From there, you can turn it into a profitable course using one of the platforms to sell online courses listed below. By the end of this post, you’ll know exactly where to sell online courses, and you’ll be itching to create and promote a course of your own.
Here are the 7 best platforms to sell online courses.
Easily one of the best platforms to sell online courses is Teachable.
This platform is one of the most commonly-used course platforms, and if you’ve ever taken a course online before, there’s a pretty high chance that it might’ve been hosted on Teachable. (Goats On The Road’s SEO Course is hosted on Teachable!)
On Teachable, there are a few different tiers of payment and features. Here’s a short breakdown of each.
The most affordable option at Teachable is $29 USD per month paid annually or $39 USD per month paid monthly.
This is marketed as the perfect package for first-time course creators and includes unlimited students, drip course content options, and integrated email marketing.
The biggest drawback of this tier is that there’s a 5% transaction fee on every course sale you make, which can add up.
Pro is the next tier up and costs $99 USD per month annually or $119 USD per month paid monthly. It has everything that’s included in basic but has no transaction fees, integrated affiliate marketing, and includes graded quiz options.
The most significant package at Teachable is the Business package for $249 USD per month annually or $299 USD per month paid monthly.
This tier includes everything in Basic and Pro but also allows 20 admin-level users, bulk student enrollments, and advanced theme customization options.
Pros and Cons of Teachable
If you’re wondering where to sell online courses, Teachable could easily be the perfect option for you. However, you’ll want to consider the pros and cons before coming to your final decision.
Teachable has some excellent pros. You can sell more than just courses within the platform, including ebooks, digital products and downloads, or even workshops. You can also bundle your courses, payout your affiliates, and create upsells to generate even more money with your other offers.
Easily one of the best things about Teachable too is that they recently came out with an app version.
This means that instead of trying to use the Teachable website, your students can easily access your material and learn almost anywhere while on the go at the click of a button.
Just like any platform, though, Teachable has its cons. One of the most common cons that people experience with Teachable is that it can be slow to load occasionally, but that can honestly just be due to a bad internet connection.
Other cons include the transaction fees for creators if you’re on the Basic plan and the integrations aren’t as high-tech as other platforms (you have to use Zapier for almost everything).
Many course creators and course consultants argue that the best platform to sell courses online is Thinkific. This is most likely because they actually offer an amazing free plan that allows you to dabble in course creation before making a full commitment.
Obviously, when considering platforms to sell online courses, you have to think about the pricing. Here’s a breakdown of the different pricing tiers at Thinkific, as well as the features of each.
With the free plan, you can host up to three courses and have unlimited students. You can also utilize their quizzes and surveys feature (which is excellent for making sure your students retain their information), and you can also instantly access the money that you make.
The next plan is $39 USD per month and is called the Basic Plan. With this plan, you can have unlimited courses, unlimited students, coupons, drip content, a custom domain, email integrations, Zapier triggers, and even a custom domain!
Right after the Basic Plan is the Pro Plan, which costs $79 USD per month and includes everything that the Basic Plan has and then some.
You can have two site admin accounts, private and hidden courses, advanced pricing tiers, memberships, assignments, and live host lessons with Zoom.
The largest and most extensive package is the Premier Plan which costs $399 USD and has the types of features that you won’t need unless you make courses for a living.
Some of the features of this package include 15 group analysts, up to 50-course admins, an onboarding package, and a single sign-on.
Pros and Cons of Thinkific
Overall, there are quite a few pros and cons with Thinkific that you’ll also want to think about.
Pros include that it allows a lot more advanced content (like drip content, assessments affiliate integration, etc.), and you can have fun assignments that will make your students want to keep returning back to your course to learn more.
Overall, the integrations used within Thinkific are also very advanced compared to other course hosting platforms out there. For example, you can use fun badge integrations to give your students a little virtual prize whenever they complete a particular lesson.
However, there are definitely some cons. The course player isn’t necessarily the prettiest, although around a year or so ago, they did update it, so it looks way better than it did.
The sales page and landing page customizers also kind of look a little blocky, so if having pretty landing pages to get people to sign up for your course is something that’s important to you, then you’ll want to create your own on your website and use outbound links to Thinkific.
If you’re wondering what the best platforms to sell online courses with tons of advanced features are, then you’ll want to consider using Kajabi.
Not only is Kajabi a course hosting platform, but many people also use it to build out their entire website instead of using something more traditional like WordPress or Squarespace.
As you may have guessed, pricing is a bit higher with Kajabi. However, the features are incredible. Read more about them below and find out why this is the best platform to sell courses online.
Their smallest level tier is called the Basic Plan and is either $149 USD per month billed monthly or $119 USD per month billed annually.
With this plan, you get one website, 1,000 members, unlimited marketing emails and landing pages, three products, and three pipelines.
The next level tier is called the Grown Plan and costs slightly more at either $199 USD per month billed monthly, or $159 USD billed annually.
You can have 15 products, 15 pipelines, unlimited marketing emails and landing pages, one website, and 10,000 active members for this price.
At the very top is their largest tier, the Pro Plan, which is $399 USD per month monthly or $319 USD per month paid annually.
With this price tag, you can have up to 100 products, 100 pipelines, unlimited marketing emails and landing pages, 20,000 active members, 25 admin users, and three websites.
The pricing for Kajabi definitely gets more affordable as you grow your course collection and start offering more courses.
Pros and Cons of Kajabi
Similar to Teachable and Thinkific, there are both pros and cons to start using Kajabi. Read more about them below.
Compared to other course hosting options, if you want a website and course hoster all in one, then Kajabi is perfect for that. Within Kajabi, you can sell everything as far as products go, create excellent email marketing funnels, and even have an optimized cart checkout with customizable landing pages.
Honestly, the major con to using Kajabi is the price tag. It’s not the most affordable platform to use if you’re new to selling courses and digital products because you don’t know how much money you’ll make just yet. It’s more so for once you’re a bi more established.
There are also not affiliate options for you to make extra money with your current clients, which is something that’s offered at lower price points with Teachable and Thinkific.
Another one of the best platforms to sell online courses is Podia, and this one is often overlooked. However, it offers quite a lot of great features for its price point, and it has a prettier interface than most other websites.
Podia has three different plan tiers, and they even use some pretty fun names for their tiers compared to other course hosting platforms. Below, learn more about the pricing and features of each tier.
The lowest tier, Mover, is $39 USD per month paid monthly. With this tier, you get unlimited everything, zero transaction fees, free migrations, daily support, and you can sell courses, digital downloads, or webinars.
The features don’t end there; you also get customer messaging, the option to create bundles, a custom website, unlimited email subscribers, and up to 5,000 email recipients each month.
Shaker is the next plan and costs $79 USD per month.
It has absolutely everything that is included in the Mover plan but also allows you to sell memberships, have course certificates, do affiliate marketing, create an embedded checkout, and use third-party code as needed.
Plus, you can have up to 15,000 monthly email recipients instead of 5,000, like what is included in the Mover plan.
If you need more than that, then you may want to consider the Earthquake plan, which is $179 USD per month. The main differences with this package are that it allows you to have five additional teammates and up to 50,000 monthly email recipients.
Other extras with this plan include that you can have a white-labelled website, an onboarding call, a dedicated account manager, and a monthly group creator call. If you will be selling a lot, then this could be an excellent plan for you compared to the others.
Pros and Cons of Podia
So now that you know about the packages, it’s time to look deeper into the pros and cons of Podia.
Arguably the prettiest platform on this list is Podia. It’s super customizable and has some of the best-looking landing pages and sales pages that you can create out of any other platform.
Plus, you can have unlimited products in your shop, so you don’t have to worry about upgrading just to be able to host more.
However, some of the cons include not having affiliate marketing in the lowest tier, and you can also only use PayPal as your payment integration on the lowest tier.
These two cons, though, aren’t really a big deal and they probably won’t be that much of a bother in the long run.
Circle.so is kind of like the new kid on the block when it comes to selling online courses. While you can host your courses here, it also doubles as a community-building platform so that you can be collaborative with your students here instead of in an off-platform Facebook Group.
There are a few different plans at Circle.so that range in price, which you can learn more about below.
The lowest pricing tier is the Basic plan, and it costs $39 USD per month as most other platforms do. With this tier, you can have 1,000 members, a custom domain, ten spaces, and use Zapier integrations.
The most extensive package at Circle.so is $199 USD per month and is the Enterprise plan.
This is a huge leg up from the Professional plan and has 100,000 members, three communities, 1,000 spaces, and you’ll have a dedicated account manager in case you run into any issues ever.
Pros and Cons of Circle.so
What’s so great about Circle.so is that it’s much more different than the other course platforms on this list. It’s more of a newer platform too, so they are still coming out with new features on a rolling basis.
With each plan, you can customize the platform to match your business’s branding, integrate with your own website, and also connect it to another course platform if you’re using one.
For example, you could technically host all of your courses on Thinkific and then use Circle.so as a way to connect with your audience.
Circle.so also allows you to have hidden spaces, so you’d want to create a space for each course and then make a Zapier integration to immediately invite those who have signed up for your course into the space.
Another great thing about Circle.so is that you can host your monthly calls (if they’re included in your course) Directly within the platform’s call channels.
Cons include that it’s not as intuitive as some of the other platforms on this list. Part of your course will have to include a tutorial showing students how to get around the platform and utilize it because it might be confusing at first.
There also isn’t a free plan option, which could be considered a con if you’re looking for something on the cheaper side to just play around with course creation for now.
Next up is Kartra, another one of the best platforms to sell online courses. This platform is excellent for course selling and tons of other great things, which will be discussed below.
There are four different plans available for purchase through Kartra, so you can easily pick the one that will help you the most.
The Starter plan is the cheapest option at $99 USD per month. With this tier, you can have one custom domain, 50 GB of bandwidth, the ability to host 100 pages, 50 videos, and 20 products. Plus, you can build two membership sites.
Next is the Silver package, which is $199 USD per month with a bit more abilities. It includes three custom domains and unlimited emails, bandwidth, pages, products, videos, and membership sites.
Right after the Silver package is the Gold package at $299 USD per month. With this package, you get everything in the Silver package plus up to 5 custom domains and access to Kartra Agency.
Last but not least is the largest package that’s available at Kartra, the Platinum package for $499 USD per month. It includes absolutely everything in the Gold package but also allows you to have up to ten custom domains and unlimited team members and helpdesks.
So, as you can see, these packages can get quite large if you have the money to pay for them. However, most people would be perfectly fine on the Starter plan, especially with just a few courses or products.
Pros and Cons of Kartra
Of course, there are still some pros and cons that you’ll want to consider when choosing between Kartra and another platform.
Kartra has a huge leg up on its competition because there’s a massive knowledge base available in case you ever run into any issues. Plus, you can host all of your videos internally, and you won’t have to consider using a platform like Vimeo.
If you plan on ever having a membership that grants access to your courses, then Kartra is also perfect for that due to their great membership options.
There is also the ability to easily upsell your customers to get them to purchase something with a more extensive offer.
Honestly, the main downside to Kartra is its expensive price tag. At $99 USD per month for the lowest plan, that automatically makes Kartra the most expensive option on this list. It’s definitely something you’ll have to budget for.
Plus, the interface may not be as beautiful as Kajabi’s or Podia’s.
Last but not least is LearnDash, which is a bit more of a unique option on this list because it mainly functions as a plugin to your WordPress site. Here’s a breakdown of the pricing options available for LearnDash.
Note that all pricing at LearnDash is annual and not monthly, which makes it a pretty affordable option if you have a WordPress site!
The Basic package comes in at $199 USD and includes one site license and unlimited courses and users. Plus, you can drip-feed your content, offer quizzes, have course forums, and even give certificates and badges to your students as they progress throughout your course.
Other inclusions are email notifications, free integrations, course content protection, and a demo site template as an added bonus. There’s also always a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Next is the Plus package, which is a bit more costly at $229 USD. It includes up to 10 site licenses, access to the ProPanel, and everything that’s included in the Basic package.
Last but not least is the largest package, the Pro tier.
This comes in at $369 USD and has everything in the Plus package plus a few minor tweaks. You can use this one on up to 25 site licenses, which can be helpful if you have lots of sites or work with lots of sites that will be using the plugin.
Pros and Cons of LearnDash
There are also quite a few pros and cons that you’ll want to consider, which are outlined below.
First of all, the quizzing is pretty advanced compared to other platforms on this list. You can also add in prerequisites so that people can’t access certain parts of the course without completing other things like questionnaires or previous lessons.
This platform works on a drag and drop basis, meaning you have a lot of freedom when it comes to designing your course and moving things around.
Plus, the addition of a discussion forum makes it easy to connect with your audience without the addition of a Facebook Group or another platform like Circle.so.
Some cons for LearnDash include that it can only be used on WordPress, and it can be hard to get the hang of when you first start out.
You’ll most likely find yourself watching lots of YouTube tutorials and searching for how-to articles, while with platforms like Teachable, you’ll be able to figure out what to do pretty quickly.
Now you know all about the best platforms to sell online courses. If you found that you’re still a bit unsure about which platform is worth trying out after reading this article, then take advantage of the free trials.
Almost every platform on this list has at least a 14-day free trial for you to go into it and test out the waters before investing. Plus, there are also still lots of other platforms out there. Don’t hesitate to try out multiple platforms before taking the leap.
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