Finding the best online course platform for your product is important for reaching the right audience. Every course platform has different features that will benefit your students, and there are a few things you need to consider.
Teachable, a course platform founded by Ankur Nagpal, offers an easy solution to sell courses without having a website. Anyone can sign up for the platform and create helpful content for students.
If you do have a website, you can create integrate your domain name with Teachable to maintain your branding across your course offerings.
The platform makes it really easy to design sales pages that convert, and you can offer subscriptions, coaching, memberships, and courses on the platform.
Teachable offers a challenge each year to encourage creators to publish their work. The winner of the competition can win up to $100,000 for creating a course, and Teachable offers a coaching program for paid subscribers. The platform ensures you have what you need to publish your course in 30 days or less.
Teachable is a great option for creators who need predesigned sales page templates and extra assistance getting their courses off the ground.
If you decide to sign up with Teachable, you’ll need to pay a subscription to access some features of the software in addition to payment processing fees.
Fore more information about the platform, check out the Teachable sales page to determine whether or not this is right for you.
MemberPress is a company that offers membership software for creators. With MemberPress, you can offer coaching, protect pages of your site, and create courses.
You can offer courses by setting up protected pages or you can create a course (example below) with the new LMS software and features all of your courses on one page.
You can easily set up affiliate software, integrate your email marketing platform to send custom welcome emails to subscribers, offer coaching, subscriptions or create a membership website.
MemberPress offers several payment options for subscribers. However, MemberPress requires a yearly subscription and recently there was concern that if you do not renew your membership, you not only lose access to the WordPress plugin, but all of your content.
If you don’t have a website, you may want to consider another option on this list that would allow you to create your content on a platform. However, if you do have a website, this plugin is a great option for offering many different types of services on your own platform.
Learn Dash is an online course platform that allows creators to access a large audience for their courses and products. Learn Dash not only allows creators to sell courses and products with the Learn Dash LMS software, but the platform also integrates with MemberPress, Restrict Content Pro, and Paid Memberships Pro making it a powerhouse for selling products. The software even integrates with Easy Digital Downloads, ThriveCart, Sam Cart, and WooCommerce (see the list of full integrations here).
Learn Dash also allows you to embed your courses on a third party platform and sell your products from your WordPress website.
Kadence, a popular WordPress theme, makes it easy to set up your own course website with MemberPress or Learn Dash. A great example of a demo Learn Dash course website with Kadence, is the Photo Course demo (a free template that is really easy to customize in WordPress.
Below is a 30-second preview of what a Learn Dash Course looks like when embedded in WordPress.
You can either embed Learn Dash courses on your website with a plugin, or you can create your own website just for your courses with the LMS software.
Learn Dash and MemberPress are very similar but the software platforms offer different options for presenting your products. To decide between MemberPress and Learn Dash you’ll need to consider the following
You’ll need to consider your business model, and how you would like to present your courses as well as the types of products you would like to create to determine the best one for you.
For simple sites that need few integrations, you may want to consider starting with
You can get started with Learn Dash with a 15-day free trial and has several demos here.
Kajabi is an online course platform that allows creators to create a website for hosting courses and products. Creators can upload videos to create a course in the form of a slider.
The system can be configured to play the main video (currently playing) on the left and offers the option to create a playlist of upcoming videos to the right.
The platform demonstrates a comittment to creators with the free Kajabi University that helps creators learn how to create coaching packages, courses, and podcasts on the platform.
Below is a quick look at just a few of the resources Kajabi offers for creators interested in getting started with the platform.
If you are thinking about getting started with Kajabi, you can start with a 14-day free trial. After the trial period, there are some useful things to consider as you determine whether or not the software is right for you.
MemberSpace is a another course platform that is not tied to any content management systems. great option as well because the platform is independent of CMS. Instead of creating a separate website through software such as Kajabi, you can host your membership content on your platform and easily switch between Squarespace, WordPress or any other platform you would like to use to promote your content.
Although MemberPress does offer the convenient option because the software is not tied to a content management system like WordPress. MemberSpace subscribers can easily host content on WordPress and switch to SquareSpace later on.
Memberspace allows creators to protect any link behind a paywall. For example, you can add links to YouTube videos to your subscription simply by setting up a rule that protects your YouTube URL (no need to download the video and host it another platform and embed it in your site). You can learn more about MemberSpace content links here.
Thinkific is an online course platform with a drag and drop editor that makes it easy for creators to sell courses and products. Thinkific offers the option to build custom websites for your courses, and you can see the number of students watching your videos on the platform at any given time.
If you’re using WordPress.com (instead of WordPress.org), Thinkific is a great option because it integrates with WordPress.com.
Thinkific also offers a custom payment system. The platform charges the same transaction fee as Stripe, and if you decide to collect payments through Thinkific you won’t need to pay any other transaction fees. The platform has an in depth demo that covers what it will be like to create courses with the platform here.
When navigating transaction fees, you’ll need to consider the fee charged by the payment software and the fee per transaction charged by the platform you’re using to host your courses. Different payment software platforms (such as Stripe and PayPal) charge different fees.
When pricing your products, consider the following:
You may need to test online course platforms to decide which one is the best for you. Many platforms offer easy integrations if you set up a course and decide later that you need to switch.
Deciding on the best platform will depend on the software you’re using, the integrations you need, and your level of experience with design. Some creators may want more creative control and to design courses on their own websites, where others might want pre-designed templates so they can focus more on their specialty and less on designing a container for their products.