What are the 7 best
In this article, I’ll explain why some of these
I’ll walk you through the pros and cons of each alternative so that you can make an informed decision.
Teachable does have its advantages. For me, perhaps its biggest strength is its effortless setup.
Teachable takes care of all the technical stuff, so you can focus on creating great courses. The tools that it offers are simple, but powerful.
The creators of
But if you have all of your course content already created, you could certainly upload it all to
That doesn’t include all of the marketing, promotion, and launching of your course that you’ll need to do to really be successful. But
So if you have an existing audience that you can drive to your page, you could technically start making sales on day one.
While it’s easy to get started,
In terms of customization,
For me, one of the biggest downsides of
Things like graded quizzes, advanced reports, an unbranded website, course completion certificates, and other items aren’t included in their basic plan.
You’ll have to sign up for at least Teachable’s $99 Professional plan to unlock these.
For more info on this, check out my guide to Teachable Pricing Plans.
Some users also report problems with the
Be inspired by these Teachable course examples to be sure that you can make nearly any passion or hobby into a profitable online course.
It’s also worth noting that every few months,
Usually, this is overnight and not too major. But it will interrupt your business and may cause you to miss out on some purchases.
For those reasons and more, I think it’s worth considering the
Besides the basic platform, Udemy also gives its instructors access to lots of resources and tutorials to help you create awesome online courses.
It also gives course instructors a whole range of tools to help promote your course once it’s done.
Udemy is SEO-friendly and many of the courses on the platform will rank on the first page of Google search results. So you may get a lot of organic sales without having to worry about promoting or launching your course.
If you’ve never created a course before,
Luckily Udemy is free for instructors to use. So you can create and publish as many courses as you want, and you’ll never pay anything up front.
You might be wondering how Udemy makes money then. The drawback is that they’ll take up to 50% of each sale that’s made.
Considering how much support they provide to you in terms of helping you create and market your course, this is an option that some new course creators are willing to accept.
If you have an existing audience, it is possible to give out instructor coupons to students.
If a student purchases using this, you’ll get 97% of the sale and Udemy will only take 3%. However, if a student doesn’t remember to use the coupon, you can still end up losing 50% of your sale to Udemy.
If you’re willing to accept the high transaction fees, I do think that Udemy is a Teachable alternative that’s hard to match in terms of accessibility, user support, and ease of getting started.
Read my Udemy Review where I’ll evaluate the platform based on price, course quality, user experience, and other factors.
Clickfunnels is the alternative on this list that’s perhaps the most different from
One big reason that I’m including Clickfunnels on this list is that
So the truth is, you may actually end up needing both if you decide to go with a more “cookie-cutter” platform like
Where Clickfunnels really excels is in terms of marketing and building funnels for your online course.
If you’re not familiar with what a sales funnel is, it’s the way that you find, qualify, and sell your course to customers. It’s the whole process of leading customers to buying your product.
Clickfunnels includes all of the tools you’ll need to market your course. Including full-featured page builders for making sales pages and landing pages.
As well as built-in email autoresponders, integrations with third-party applications, and more.
The platform also allows you to do a lot more in terms of upsells and downsells of other products or services you might want to offer, compared to
Of course in addition to all of this, Clickfunnels also gives you the option to sell online courses, subscriptions, and membership sites. So while it’s not a dedicated course platform, it has what you need to run one.
The lowest Clickfunnels plan costs $97 per month, which is comparable to
Read in-depth what I think about ClickFunnels Membership Site in my review.
Podia matches most of what
Podia includes some extras that
It also includes integrated email marketing with no limit on how many emails you can send, or how many subscribers you can have.
Podia also has a more streamlined two-step checkout process. The less resistance that customers face when checking out, the higher your chance of them converting into sales. So this is a big plus in my book.
Podia’s interface is easy to use and simple, just like
Best of all, Podia doesn’t charge transaction fees on any of its paid plans. So that’s a major advantage over
Podia also pays your earnings daily. That’s a huge advantage over many other platforms, where you might need to wait 30 days or more to actually get paid.
Podia’s basic plan costs $39 per month. Or you can pay $79 per month to also gain access to memberships, embedded checkout, affiliate marketing, a blog, and third-party code.
You can compare Podia and Teachble online course features here.
LearnWorlds is a powerful and fully customizable
It can be a great option whether you’re selling online courses, or even internally within a company to help train employees.
LearnWorlds is a very feature-rich option that gives you the option to create a whole catalog of courses if that’s what you want.
One of the most noteworthy features for me is the built-in social network feature, which allows you to create your own community for your courses.
This can really help to boost engagement and gives your students a chance to network, share ideas with each other, and provide you with feedback.
You get access to over 300 templates that you can use to create your sales pages, landing pages, and course pages. This can save a ton of time compared to trying to build your own website from scratch.
And with so many options available, you don’t run into the problems of some other platforms, where everyone’s courses all start to look the same.
LearnWorld’s page builder is intuitive, and helps you to create a course website that’s both SEO and mobile friendly.
When you host a course with LearnWorlds, you retain ownership of all of your course content. You can even connect with a Vimeo or Wistia account to put your own videos from other platforms into your course.
That way if you ever do need to move platforms, all of your content is still stored somewhere else.
There are tons of other tools available within LearnWorlds including automated certificates, an assessment engine, an interactive ebook maker, and an advanced analytics dashboard. So the real question is: What doesn’t it have?
If LearnWorlds is lacking in one area, I’d say it’s in terms of marketing. There isn’t much offered in terms of automated emails or pipelines.
So you may need other software to run your autoresponder, webinars, email marketing, and other tools that are common for marketing courses.
LearnWorld’s Starter plan is $24 per month and has a flat $5 fee per course sale, which is quite comparable to
Read more about Learnworlds Pricing Plans to have a better idea of what pricing plans Learnworlds has available, and which one may best suit your business needs
If you are still thinking which platform is better? Find the answer in my Learnworlds vs. Teachable comparison.
Kajabi is another popular
It also does so much more than just online courses. Including membership sites and training portals as well.
Take advantage of their features including customized form and landing page builders, which include a library of pre-made templates.
Kajabi also includes a built-in email marketing solution. Not only can you send out batches of emails, but you can also track their open rate and other performance indicators using your analytics dashboard.
I feel like Kajabi gives you all the tools that you need to create your online course business in one place, so you won’t need to try and fit together multiple different tools. Your course creation and marketing is all in one place.
In addition, Kajabi is one of the few platforms that limits the number of students that you can have at each tier. So the more students you have, the more you’ll need to pay.
The basic plan allows for up to 1,000 active members. That should be enough for most new courses.
And by the time you have 1,000 active students, you might not care so much about paying to upgrade to a higher plan. But it’s still worth considering.
Teachable and Thinkific are probably the most similar of any two platforms on this list, and likely consider each other to be their main competitor. They fill a similar niche when it comes to online course creation.
One of the platforms releases a new feature, and the other is quick to match it. So both are constantly at battle to get a leg up on the other.
Honestly, it’s hard to go wrong with either platform because they’re both very easy to use and a great way to deliver your online course.
Both allow you to categorize your content into lessons and modules. You can host an unlimited amount of videos on either. Both allow you to create interactive quizzes.
And either platform is great at drip-feeding content, providing you with course analytics, and any number of other features.
I do think one area where Thinkific has a slight advantage over
For example, Thinkific enables you to put a survey right into your course to gather feedback. Whereas to do that on
If you’re wanting to see what other options are out there for selling your online course, then check out my list of the 7 Best Thinkific Alternatives.
The reason I’d most recommend checking out Thinkific is their free plan though. If you’re just getting started, it’s perhaps the most generous free plan of any online course platform.
For $0 you can host up to 3 courses and have an unlimited number of students. You can still host video, audio, and PDF content, plus make use of quizzes and surveys.
And amazingly, even Thinkific’s free plan has no transaction fees. Despite being free, you still own your student data and all of your content.
So I really feel like it’s a risk-free way of getting started.
LearnDash is different than the other items on this list, because it allows you to host your online course on your own website.
It’s the best WordPress LMS (learning management system) plugin, as opposed to other solutions where you upload your content directly to their platform.
Using an LMS provides you with levels of flexibility and customization that is hard to match while using online course platforms.
Despite being hosted on your own site, LearnDash also has native payment integrations, so you won’t need to worry about other payment solutions even when you’re hosting your own course.
LearnDash comes with all of the basic course and marketing features that you’d expect from a
Instead of using a monthly subscription model, LearnDash uses licenses. Their basic license costs $159 for one year of support and updates.
So it actually works out to be more cost-effective than most online course platforms that charge you monthly.
Here you can read my LearnDash review where I go over features, pricing plans and more.
Teachable is one online course platform that makes it really easy to get your online course up and running. But there are many alternatives that I think are worth considering before you make a decision.
Other platforms specialize more in one area or have features that
For example, Clickfunnels is the most powerful when it comes to marketing your online course. While LearnWorlds has a built-in social media network for your course.
Another option is to choose a learning management system like Learndash and host your online course on your own website.
Whichever online course platform that you choose, it’s going to potentially be home to your course content for years to come.
So it’s an important decision that deserves a fair amount of thought, as well as consideration of all of the alternatives.
Jacob has a background in finance and engineering. Outside of his day job, he is a lifelong learner, who enjoys reading, taking online courses, and writing about what he's learned.
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