Talent Development

10 Best Platforms For Online Courses In 2024

Explore the 10 best platforms for online courses in 2024. Compare key features, pros, cons, pricing of each to find out the right pick for your needs.
10 Best Platforms For Online Courses

Choosing the best platform for online courses can be, especially with so many options out there.

But don’t worry! We’ve already spent hours testing and reviewing various platforms to find out the top 10 picks for you.

  1. iSpring – Best Overall Pick for Employee Training, Mid-Sized and Large Companies, Complete eLearning solution, 30-day free trial available, Paid plans start at $2.99/month for up to 50 employees.
  2. Courseplay – Best For Interactive Learning Experience, Medium to large enterprises, AI-powered learning recommendations, 14-day free trial available, Starts at $2 per user per month for up to a minimum of 100 learners
  3. Teamie – Best For Educators, Educational institutions and enterprises, Social learning features, $5 per user per month with a minimum of 50 users
  4. Enparadigm – Best For Talent Development, Large organizations, AI-powered simulations, Custom pricing based on specific needs
  5. Go1 – Best For Content Library And Integration, Organizations with existing learning technologies, Access to 250+ content providers, Custom pricing available upon request
  6. LearnDash – Best Overall LMS, WordPress users and self-hosted solutions, Advanced quizzing and gamification, Starts at $199/year for 1 site
  7. Udemy – Best For Beginner Creators With A Large Marketplace, Educators and experts seeking global reach, User-friendly course creation, No upfront cost, Revenue-sharing model (37% for Udemy-driven sales, 97% for self-promoted sales)
  8. Teachable – Best Overall Pick For Creators, Entrepreneurs and educators building a brand, Customizable website and branding, Limited free plan available, Paid plan starts at $59/month with a 5% transaction fee
  9. Thinkific – Best Feature-Packed Platform, Creators focusing on engaging learning experiences, Advanced student progress tracking, Starts at $49/month with 0% transaction fee
  10. Podia – Best All-In-One Platform For Digital Products Selling, Entrepreneurs selling various digital products, Built-in email marketing and affiliate management, Limited free plan available, Paid plan starts at $9/month with an 8% transaction fee.

We considered crucial factors such as course creation features, user interface, pricing, marketing tools, and customization to find out these top 10 picks.

Keep reading to learn more about the key features, pricing plans, pros, and cons of each platform, along with a complete guide to choose the best course creation platform for your needs.

Best Platforms For Online Courses In 2024

1. iSpring – Best Overall Pick For Employee Training


Our Score: 4.8/5 (Excellent)

iSpring Key Features:

  • Strong course authoring tools
  • Responsive player
  • Detailed reporting and analytics
  • Gamification and interactive elements
  • Built-in video studio
  • Extensive integrations
  • Exceptional customer support

iSpring is a popular eLearning platform that offers a complete set of tools for creating, delivering, and tracking online courses.

With iSpring, you can develop professional-looking courses, videos, and assessments without any prior technical knowledge.

iSpring Pros:

  • User-friendly course authoring tools
  • Responsive player for seamless mobile learning
  • Advanced reporting and analytics
  • Excellent customer support and training resources

iSpring Cons:

  • Higher pricing compared to some competitors
  • Steeper learning curve for advanced features

Why We Picked It?

iSpring is our best overall pick for comprehensive eLearning solutions due to its extensive range of features and great user-experience.

The platform’s course authoring tools are particularly impressive, allowing you to create professional-quality content without any coding or design skills.

iSpring’s responsive player ensures that your courses look great and function seamlessly across all devices, from desktop computers to smartphones. This mobile-friendly approach is essential to give a modern learning experience, where learners expect to access content on-the-go.

Another standout feature of iSpring is its detailed reporting and analytics.

You can track learner progress, completion rates, and assessment scores, giving you valuable insights into the effectiveness of your courses.

This data can help you make informed decisions about improving your content and supporting your learners.

However, it’s important to note that iSpring’s pricing is higher compared to some other platforms on our list. Additionally, while the platform offers some e-commerce features, they may not be as extensive as those provided by dedicated course creation platforms like Udemy or Teachable.

Best For:

iSpring is an excellent choice for businesses, and educational institutions who want a comprehensive, user-friendly platform for developing and delivering high-quality eLearning content, especially for corporate training and employee development.

✅ Choose iSpring If:

  • You want a comprehensive, all-in-one eLearning solution for employee training.
  • You value interactive elements in training materials.
  • You need detailed reporting and analytics to track learner progress.

❌ Don’t Choose iSpring If:

  • You’re on a tight budget and need a more affordable solution.
  • You require extensive e-commerce features for selling courses.
  • You are a content creator and want an easy-to-use solution.

iSpring Pricing:

iSpring offers two main pricing plans – Start and the Business, billed annually. The Start plan begins at $2.99/month for up to 50 users. The price details for the Business plan for up to 50 users are available on request. The best part? With iSpring LMS, you get a 30-day free trial.

2. Courseplay – Best For Interactive Learning Experience


Our Score: 4.6/5 (Very Good)

Courseplay Key Features:

  • AI-powered learning recommendations
  • Gamification and behavioral scorecards
  • Coaching and mentorship tools
  • Automated workflows and reminders
  • Custom branded apps
  • Chatbot support
  • Extensive content library integration

Courseplay is a great employee growth platform that combines learning management, performance tracking, and coaching features to provide a comprehensive solution for skill development and talent management.

With Courseplay, you can deliver a wide range of learning experiences, including micro-learning, game-based learning, interactive e-learning, social learning, and on-the-job learning.

The platform’s AI-powered recommendations help employees find relevant learning content based on their roles, skills, and performance goals.

Courseplay Pros:

  • 360-degree approach to employee growth
  • Engaging gamification and behavioral scorecards
  • Customizable branded apps for better user experience
  • Extensive integrations with content libraries

Courseplay Cons:

  • Steeper learning curve due to the platform’s extensive features
  • Some content creation features available only in higher-tier plans

Why We Picked It?

Courseplay stands out as the best platform for 360-degree employee growth due to its comprehensive approach to skill development and talent management.

It combines learning, performance tracking, coaching, and mentorship features all in one place. This makes it our top pick for LXP (Learning Experience Platform).

One of Courseplay’s standout features is its AI-powered learning recommendations, which help employees find relevant content based on their individual needs and goals.

The platform also offers engaging gamification elements, such as leaderboards, badges, and rewards, to motivate employees and encourage continuous learning.

Another notable aspect of Courseplay is its focus on coaching and mentorship. The platform provides tools for setting up and managing coaching relationships. This means employees can receive personalized guidance and support from experienced colleagues or external mentors.

However, it’s important to note that Courseplay’s pricing is higher compared to standalone learning management systems, and the platform’s extensive features may result in a steeper learning curve for some users.

Additionally, the entry-level plans have limited content creation capabilities and require a minimum of 100 learners. Some features like additional language support and performance evaluations are only available in its higher-tier plans.

Best For:

Courseplay is an excellent choice for medium to large enterprises that want to invest in a comprehensive employee growth solution.

It is cheaper than iSpring and offers a feature-packed solution. But still, it is expensive and more than needed for individual content creators.

It’s particularly well-suited for organizations with different learning and development needs, as well as those looking to build a strong coaching and mentorship culture.

✅ Choose Courseplay If:

  • You want a comprehensive platform LXP that combines learning, performance, and coaching features.
  • You value AI-powered learning recommendations and engaging gamification elements.
  • You have a large employee base (100 or more learners) and can invest in a premium solution.

❌ Don’t Choose Courseplay If:

  • You’re a small business or startup with a limited budget and fewer than 100 learners.
  • You primarily need a standalone learning management system with basic features.
  • You’re a creator or educator and need a more user-friendly solution.

Courseplay Pricing:

Courseplay offers five pricing plans, with prices starting at $2 per user per month for up to a minimum of 100 learners. You also get a 14-day free trial which is good for testing all of its features.

3. Teamie – Best For Educators


Our Score: 4.4/5 (Good)

Teamie Key Features:

  • Social learning features
  • Mobile apps for iOS and Android
  • Integration with Google Apps and other systems
  • Customizable branding
  • Dynamic lesson creation
  • Formative assessment tools
  • Scalable cloud-based delivery

Teamie is a cloud-based collaborative learning platform that enables schools, colleges, universities, and enterprises to deliver engaging and interactive learning experiences.

With a focus on social learning and mobile accessibility, Teamie provides a flexible and user-friendly environment for both learners and educators.

One of Teamie’s standout features is its familiar social media-style news feed, which facilitates clear communication and discussion between learners and instructors.

The platform also offers a range of tools for creating dynamic lessons, importing existing materials, and conducting formative assessments.

Teamie Pros:

  • Social learning features promote collaboration and engagement
  • Mobile apps enable learning anytime, anywhere
  • Deep integration with Zoom, Google, Microsoft Apps and other systems
  • Customizable branding options

Teamie Cons:

  • Higher pricing compared to some other learning platforms
  • Setup and customization can be time-consuming at first

Why We Picked It?

Teamie made it to our list because of its collaborative learning and mobile learning features.

The platform’s user-friendly news feed interface promotes active participation and discussion, while its mobile apps allow learners to access content and complete assignments on-the-go.

Teamie’s integration capabilities are also impressive. It seamlessly connects with popular tools like Zoom, Go1, Office 365, Google Apps, and more. This allows the platform to enhance existing practices without requiring a complete change of resources or workflows.

Best For:

Teamie is an excellent choice for educational institutions and enterprises that prioritize collaborative learning and mobile accessibility.

It’s particularly well-suited for organizations that already use Google Apps and other integrated systems and want to enhance their existing workflow with social learning features.

Compared to other platforms on our list, Teamie stands out for its strong emphasis on social learning and deep integration with third-party systems.

However, it may not be the best fit for organizations with smaller teams or tighter budgets, as it requires a minimum of 50 users and has higher pricing than some alternatives like LearnDash or Thinkific. Also, the setup and customization process can take some time initially.

For those looking for a more affordable option with similar collaborative features, Courseplay is a good alternative to consider. And if mobile accessibility is less of a priority and you require more advanced customization options, platforms like iSpring or Teachable would be better for your needs.

✅ Choose If:

  • You want to promote collaboration and engagement through social learning features.
  • You’re an educator and mobile accessibility is a key priority for your learners.
  • You rely heavily on Google Apps and other integrated systems.

❌ Don’t Choose If:

  • You have a limited budget or fewer than 50 users.
  • You need a simpler, more affordable learning platform with basic features.
  • You require extensive information on advanced features and integrations before making a decision.

Teamie Pricing:

Teamie offers a subscription-based pricing model, with a fee of $5 per user per month and a minimum requirement of 50 users. Setup, custom branding, interactions, and customizations are all included in its subscription plans.

4. Enparadigm – Best For Talent Development


Our Score: 4.5/5 (Very Good)

Enparadigm Key Features:

  • Generative AI-powered simulations
  • Immersive learning experiences
  • Business and behavioral simulations
  • Hybrid learning journeys
  • Talent intelligence platform
  • Customizable solutions
  • Award-winning technology

Enparadigm is an experiential learning and talent intelligence technology company that offers a unique approach to employee training and development.

The platform offers a range of solutions, including business simulations, behavioral simulations, and hybrid learning journeys. These solutions are designed to help employees develop critical skills in areas such as leadership, sales, and business areas.

Enparadigm Pros:

  • Engaging learning experiences
  • Customizable solutions customized to specific needs
  • AI-Powered learning experience
  • Great for employee talent development

Enparadigm Cons:

  • Immersive learning experience may not be suitable for every business.
  • Steeper learning curve for participants and facilitators

Why We Picked It?

Enparadigm stands out as the best platform for experiential learning and talent development due to its innovative approach.

The company’s AI-powered simulations provide a unique, learning experience that goes beyond traditional e-learning, allowing employees to apply their skills and knowledge in real-world scenarios.

One of Enparadigm’s key strengths is its ability to customize solutions to the specific needs of each organization.

Whether you’re looking to develop leadership skills, or improve sales performance, Enparadigm can create a customized learning journey that aligns with your goals.

Best For:

Enparadigm is an excellent choice for large organizations that are looking to invest in effective, and immersive learning experiences for their employees. It’s particularly well-suited for developing leadership skills, and sales capabilities in medium to large enterprises.

Enparadigm stands out for its focus on experiential learning and AI-powered simulations compared to other platforms on our list.

While it may not offer the same range of features as comprehensive platforms like iSpring or Courseplay, its specialized approach can be highly effective for organizations that prioritize immersive learning and simulations.

However, it’s important to note that Enparadigm’s solutions may come with a higher price tag compared to traditional e-learning platforms, and the learning curve for participants and facilitators may be steeper due to the immersive nature of the simulations.

✅ Choose If:

  • You want to invest in high-impact, immersive learning experiences for your employees.
  • You’re looking to develop leadership skills, or sales capabilities.
  • You value solutions customized to your organization’s specific needs.

❌ Don’t Choose If:

  • You have a limited budget for employee training and development.
  • You prefer a more traditional e-learning approach with a lower learning curve.
  • You require extensive integration capabilities with existing HR systems.

Enparadigm Pricing:

Pricing details for Enparadigm’s solutions are not readily available on their website. You can contact their sales team for the demo as well as exact pricing information based on your needs.

But since it offers an immersive simulation-based learning experience that’s customized for enterprises, expect a higher price range than traditional course creation platforms.

5. Go1 – Best For Content Library And Integration


Our Score: 4.8/5 (Excellent)

Go1 Key Features:

  • Extensive content library from 250+ providers
  • Integration with 70+ learning technology partners
  • Personalized learning paths
  • Diverse content formats and languages
  • Pre-curated and custom playlists
  • Content consulting services
  • Continuously updated content

Go1 is not a traditional course creation platform like iSpring, LearnDash, or Thinkific. Instead, it’s a leading content aggregation platform that provides businesses with access to a vast library of high-quality learning material to train their team members.

With over 250 content providers and seamless integration with more than 70 learning technology partners, Go1 enables organizations to deliver relevant, engaging content within their existing learning ecosystem.

Go1 Pros:

  • Access to a comprehensive, diverse content library
  • Seamless integration with existing learning technologies
  • Personalized learning paths for different roles and skills
  • Supports a variety of content formats and languages

Go1 Cons:

  • Dependent on third-party content providers for updates and quality control
  • Limited custom content creation capabilities

Why We Picked It?

Go1 offers high-quality learning content and integrates with a wide range of learning technologies. It partners with over 250 content providers ensuring that every organization has all the training material they need to upskill their entire workforce.

The platform’s content aggregation model allows businesses to simplify their learning investment without sacrificing quality or coverage.

Go1’s content experts curate and organize content into pre-built playlists for various skills, roles, and industries, making it easy for learners to find relevant content.

Another impressive feature, organizations can also create playlists customized to their specific learning programs.

Best For:

Go1 is an excellent choice for organizations that want to provide their employees with access to a wide range of high-quality learning content without the hassle of managing multiple content providers.

It’s particularly well-suited for businesses that already have a learning technology stack in place and want to enhance their content offerings without disrupting their existing workflow.

Compared to other platforms on our list, Go1 stands out for its focus on content aggregation and integration.

While it may not offer the same level of content creation capabilities as platforms like iSpring or Thinkific, its extensive library and seamless integration make it a valuable addition to any learning ecosystem.

However, it’s important to note that Go1’s pricing details are not readily available on their website, and the platform is dependent on third-party content providers for updates and quality control.

✅ Choose Go1 If:

  • You want access to a comprehensive, diverse content library from multiple providers.
  • You need to integrate learning content with your existing technology stack.
  • You value personalized learning paths and pre-curated content playlists.

❌ Don’t Choose Go1 If:

  • You’re a creator and you require extensive custom content creation capabilities.
  • You prefer a platform with transparent, upfront pricing.
  • You want complete control over content updates and quality assurance.

Go1 Pricing:

Go1 does not provide pricing details on their website. You can contact their sales team to request a demo and discuss pricing options based on your specific requirements.

6. LearnDash – Best Overall LMS


Our Score: 4.5/5 (Very Good)

LearnDash Key Features:

  • Drag-and-drop course builder
  • Advanced quizzing and assignments
  • Drip-feed content
  • Gamification elements
  • Certificates and badges
  • Membership and subscription management
  • Extensive add-ons and integrations

LearnDash is a powerful WordPress LMS (Learning Management System) plugin that allows you to create and sell online courses directly from your WordPress website. With LearnDash, you have full control over your course content, design, and pricing.

One of LearnDash’s standout features is its drag-and-drop course builder, which makes it easy to structure your course content and create engaging learning experiences.

You can create lessons, topics, and quizzes, and even drip-feed your content to keep your students engaged over time.

LearnDash Pros:

  • Seamless integration with WordPress
  • Advanced course creation and management features
  • Extensive customization options
  • Active community and support

LearnDash Cons:

  • Requires a self-hosted WordPress website
  • Higher learning curve compared to other platforms like Teachable or Thinkific

Why We Picked It?

LearnDash earns its title as the best WordPress LMS plugin for course creators due to its extensive features and seamless integration with WordPress.

If you already have a WordPress website or prefer the flexibility and control that comes with self-hosted solutions, LearnDash is an excellent choice.

The plugin offers advanced quizzing and assignment options, allowing you to assess your students’ progress and understanding effectively. You can also use gamification elements like points, badges, and leaderboards to motivate and engage your learners.

LearnDash also supports membership and subscription management, making it easy to create and manage course bundles, memberships, and recurring payments.

The plugin integrates with popular payment gateways and CRM tools, providing a seamless experience for both you and your students.

However, it’s important to note that using LearnDash requires a self-hosted WordPress website, which may involve a steeper learning curve and more technical maintenance compared to hosted platforms like Teachable or Thinkific.

Additionally, while LearnDash offers extensive customization options, it doesn’t provide built-in marketing and sales tools, so you’ll need to rely on other plugins or integrations for those features.

Best For:

LearnDash is an excellent choice for course creators who already use WordPress or prefer the flexibility and control of a self-hosted solution.

It’s ideal for those who want advanced course creation and management features and don’t mind handling the technical aspects of running a WordPress website.

✅ Choose LearnDash If:

  • You already have a WordPress website or prefer a self-hosted solution.
  • You require advanced quizzing, assignments, and gamification features.
  • You want extensive customization options for your course design and layout.

❌ Don’t Choose LearnDash If:

  • You prefer a hosted, all-in-one platform with built-in marketing and sales tools.
  • You want a simpler, more user-friendly course creation process.
  • You don’t want to handle the technical aspects of running a WordPress website.

LearnDash Pricing:

LearnDash offers three pricing plans:

  • LearnDash LMS – Starts at $199/year for 1 site, includes WordPress plugin and all the essential LMS features for creating and selling courses.
  • LearnDash Cloud – Starts at $25/month ($299/year when paid annually) for 1 site, All LearnDash LMS features with additional features like dedicated support, analytics, and reporting.
  • MemberDash – $199/year for 1 site, best for content creators who want to create and sell membership-style courses.

7. Udemy – Best For Beginner Creators With A Large Marketplace


Our Score: 4.9/5 (Excellent)

Udemy Key Features:

  • User-friendly course creation tools
  • No cost for creating courses (only a small fee is deducted from every course sale)
  • Mobile app for learning on-the-go
  • Course completion certificates
  • Affiliate marketing program
  • Wide range of course catalog
  • Instructor support

Udemy is an online learning platform that allows anyone to create and sell courses to a global audience.

With over 70 million students and 220000 courses, Udemy offers a vast marketplace for educators and experts to share their knowledge.

Creating a course on Udemy is simple and perfect for beginner course creators. The platform provides easy-to-use tools for uploading videos, creating quizzes, and designing course content.

You can organize your course into sections and lectures, making it easy for students to explore the course modules and learn at their own pace.

Udemy Pros:

  • Huge audience reach potential
  • Easy-to-use course creation tools
  • No upfront cost and easy to get started
  • Great, user-friendly mobile app

Udemy Cons:

  • Highly competitive marketplace
  • Limited control over course pricing, and branding

Why We Picked It?

The best thing about Udemy is that you don’t have to pay monthly subscriptions unlike Teachable, Podia or other tools. It’s completely free to get started.

Udemy works on a revenue sharing model so that means it will take a percentage of your course sale. You don’t have to directly pay them anything. So if you’re a beginner course creator with little or no audience-base right off the bat, then Udemy is the best platform to get started.

Of course, there are some downsides, which we will discuss shortly. But the benefits are also huge.

For instance, the platform’s course creation process is quite simple, allowing you to focus on developing high-quality content rather than worrying about technical aspects.

Plus, you can structure your courses into different modules and it also offers certifications and reviews. The best part? You get access to Udemy’s large audience base.

Now, it’s important to note that Udemy’s popularity also means a highly competitive marketplace. With thousands of courses available, you may find it challenging to stand out and attract students.

Additionally, Udemy controls the pricing and can offer steep discounts, which may directly affect your revenue.

So if you’re a professional content creator or social media influencer, and already have a decent follower-base, then it would be best to use platforms like Podia or Teachable and sell the courses directly to your audience, to ensure higher revenue from your each course sale.

Best For:

Udemy is an excellent choice for educators and experts who want to reach a large, global audience without investing in their own platform.

It’s ideal for those who want to test the waters of online course creation and gain exposure in a well-established marketplace.

If you’re looking for more control over pricing, branding, and student data, platforms like Teachable or Thinkific might be better alternatives. And for employee training, consider platforms like iSpring or LearnDash.

✅ Choose Udemy If:

  • You’re just starting out and want to reach a large, global student base.
  • You prefer a user-friendly, all-in-one platform.
  • You’re comfortable with a revenue-sharing model.

❌ Don’t Choose Udemy If:

  • You want complete control over pricing and branding.
  • You prefer a less competitive marketplace.
  • You’re looking for more advanced course creation features.

Udemy Pricing:

Udemy operates on a revenue-sharing model, with instructors earning 37% of the revenue for courses sold through Udemy’s organic search and marketing efforts.

Instructors earn 97% of the revenue for courses sold through their own promotion efforts. There are no upfront costs for creating and hosting courses on Udemy.

8. Teachable – Best Overall Pick For Creators


Our Score: 4.8/5 (Excellent)

Teachable Key Features:

  • Customizable website and course creation
  • Integrated email marketing
  • Affiliate management
  • Coupon codes
  • Drip content
  • Third-party integrations
  • Course completion certificates

Teachable is an all-in-one platform that enables you to create and sell online courses under your own brand. With Teachable, you have full control over your course content, pricing, and student data.

One of Teachable’s standout features is its customizable website builder. You can create a professional-looking website for your online school without any coding skills.

Choose from a variety of templates, customize your branding, and create a unique learning experience for your students.

Teachable Pros:

  • Full control over branding and pricing
  • Easy-to-use course creation tools
  • Built-in email marketing and affiliate management
  • Great student management features

Teachable Cons:

  • Limited course design options compared to some competitors
  • Higher transaction fees on lower-tier plans

Why We Picked It?

Teachable stands out in our list of top platforms for online courses for its extensive customization options and branding features.

Unlike marketplaces like Udemy, Teachable allows you to create your fully branded online course platform, giving you control over your course pricing, student data, and overall user experience.

The platform’s drag-and-drop course builder makes it easy to structure your content and add multimedia elements. You can also set up quizzes, course completion certificates, and drip content to keep your students engaged.

Teachable’s built-in email marketing and affiliate management tools are another significant advantage. You can send targeted emails, and even recruit affiliates to promote your courses, all within the platform.

However, it’s worth noting that its course design options are somewhat limited compared to platforms like Thinkific or LearnDash. Additionally, the platform’s transaction fees can be higher on lower-tier plans.

Best For:

Teachable is an excellent choice for entrepreneurs, experts, and educators who want to build a recognized brand around their courses.

It’s ideal for those who value control over their pricing, branding, and student data and are willing to invest time in marketing their courses.

✅ Choose Teachable If:

  • You want full control over your branding and pricing.
  • You plan to use email marketing and affiliate marketing to promote your courses.
  • You value robust student management features.

❌ Don’t Choose Teachable If:

  • You prefer a simpler, plug-and-play platform with fewer customization options.
  • You’re on a tight budget and want to avoid transaction fees.
  • You need built-in course community features.

Teachable Pricing:

Teachable offers five pricing plans as follows:

  • Free Plan – 10% transaction fee and a $1 charge for every course sale with limited features
  • Basic Plan – Starts at $59/month, 5% transaction fee for course sale and up to 5 product publishing allowed
  • Pro Plan – Starts at $159/month, 0% transaction fee for course sale with Teachable payment gateway
  • Pro+ Plan – Starts at $249/month, 0% transaction fee for course sale with Teachable payment gateway
  • Business Plan – Starts at $665/month, unlimited course hosting and advanced customization option

9. Thinkific – Best Feature-Packed Platform


Our Score: 4.7/5 (Very Good)

Thinkific Key Features:

  • Drag-and-drop course builder
  • Multimedia content support
  • Built-in quizzes and surveys
  • Student progress tracking
  • Membership site functionality
  • Customizable course certificates
  • Multiple instructor support

Thinkific is a popular and user-friendly course creation platform using which you can create professional online courses and deliver engaging learning experiences to your students.

With Thinkific’s intuitive drag-and-drop course builder, you can easily structure your content, add multimedia elements, and create interactive quizzes and surveys to keep your students engaged.

The platform supports various content types, including videos, PDFs, audio files, and live lessons.

Thinkific Pros:

  • User-friendly course creation tools
  • Advanced student progress tracking
  • Built-in marketing and sales features
  • Flexibility to create membership sites

Thinkific Cons:

  • Higher pricing compared to some competitors
  • Slightly complex to learn than other tools

Why We Picked It?

Thinkific stands out as the best platform for creating engaging learning experiences due to its strong course creation tools and student engagement features.

The drag-and-drop course builder allows you to easily structure your content and add multimedia elements, making your courses more interactive and visually appealing.

One of Thinkific’s standout features is its advanced student progress tracking.

You can monitor your students’ course completion rates, quiz scores, and engagement levels, giving you valuable insights into their learning journey. This information can help you improve your courses and provide targeted support to your students.

Thinkific also offers built-in marketing and sales features, such as coupon codes, bundle pricing, and affiliate management. These tools can help you promote your courses and increase your revenue.

However, it’s important to note that Thinkific is slightly more complex to learn than platforms like Teachable or Podia. And it doesn’t have a traditional marketplace like Udemy.

Best For:

Thinkific is an excellent choice for course creators who want to focus on delivering engaging learning experiences.

It’s ideal for educators, entrepreneurs, and organizations that prioritize student engagement and progress tracking.

✅ Choose Thinkific If:

  • You want to create visually appealing and interactive courses.
  • You value advanced student progress tracking features.
  • You plan to create membership sites or bundle your courses.

❌ Don’t Choose Thinkific If:

  • You want an advanced solution for employee development and training.
  • You’re just starting out and need an easy-to-use platform.
  • You’re on a tight budget and prefer a platform with a free plan option.

Thinkific Pricing:

Thinkific offers a 14-day free trial which is enough to try and test the software. You also get three pricing plans as follows:

  • Basic – Start at $49/month
  • Start – Starts at 99/month
  • Grow – Starts at $199/month

The best part? On all three plans you get unlimited course hosting, unlimited student enrollment option, and a 0% transaction fee when you use Thinkific payment options.

10. Podia – Best All-In-One Platform For Digital Products Selling


Our Score: 4.6/5 (Very Good)

Podia Key Features:

  • Simple drag-and-drop course builder
  • Digital downloads
  • Membership sites
  • Email marketing tools
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Customizable website themes
  • Live chat support

Podia is an all-in-one platform that allows you to create and sell various digital products, including online courses, digital downloads, and memberships, all from one place.

With Podia’s user-friendly drag-and-drop course builder, you can quickly create professional-looking courses without any technical skills.

Podia Pros:

  • All-in-one solution for digital products
  • Easy-to-use course creation tools
  • Built-in email marketing and affiliate management
  • Great user-interface

Podia Cons:

  • Limited customization options compared to other platforms like Thinkific
  • Some features like affiliate management available only in the top-tier plan

Why We Picked It?

Podia stands out as the best all-in-one platform for digital products because it offers a wide range of features to help you create, market, and sell your online courses, digital downloads, and memberships from a single dashboard.

One of Podia’s standout features is its built-in email marketing tools. You can easily create and send newsletters, automated email campaigns, and drip content to your audience, helping you build relationships and promote your products.

The platform also offers affiliate marketing functionality, allowing you to recruit affiliates to promote your products and earn commissions.

Another advantage of Podia is its simplicity and modern interface for both creators and learners. The platform’s user-friendly interface and drag-and-drop course builder make it easy for anyone to create and sell digital products without any technical expertise.

However, it’s important to note that Podia has limited customization options compared to platforms like Teachable or Thinkific.

Additionally, some essential features like affiliate management are present in its affordable starter plans which can be a drawback for some creators.

Best For:

Podia is an excellent choice for entrepreneurs, bloggers, and content creators who want to sell multiple types of digital products from a single platform.

It’s ideal for those who value simplicity and built-in marketing tools. However, if you’re looking for a bit more advanced solution with more customization options, then Thinkific, or Teachable are better options.

And if you’re into creating a membership site for your course students, then LearnDash is the best pick.

✅ Choose Podia If:

  • You want to sell courses, digital downloads, and memberships from one platform.
  • You value built-in email marketing and affiliate management tools.
  • You prefer a simple, user-friendly interface.

❌ Don’t Choose Podia If:

  • You require extensive customization options for your course website.
  • You need built-in course community features.
  • You rely heavily on third-party integrations.

Podia Pricing:

Podia offers a free pricing plan just like Teachable. The free plan does have a high 10% transaction fee but good for those just starting out with 1 coaching product.

Podia also offers three paid pricing plans as follows:

  • Starter – Starts at $9/month with 8% transaction fee
  • Mover – Starts at $39/month with 5% transaction fee
  • Shaker – Starts at $89/month with no transaction fee

Did you know that at hrtech’s marketplace you can find a wide-range of software solutions? Whether you want to enhance your workflow or need tools for performance management and talent development, there’s an option for every need. Learn more now!

What Is An Online Course Creation Platform?

An online course creation platform is a software tool that enables individuals and organizations to create, publish, and sell digital learning content.

These platforms provide a centralized space for designing, organizing, and delivering educational materials, such as videos, quizzes, assignments, and interactive modules, to a target audience.

Online course creation platforms are essential for several reasons:

  1. Easy Accessibility – They allow learners to access educational content from anywhere, at any time, using various devices, such as computers, tablets, and smartphones.
  2. Scalability – These platforms enable course creators to reach a wider audience without the limitations of physical classrooms.
  3. Cost-effectiveness – Online course creation platforms often provide a more affordable alternative to traditional classroom-based training, as they eliminate the need for physical infrastructure and resources.
  4. Flexibility – Learners can progress through the course material at their own pace, allowing for a more personalized learning experience.
  5. Revenue generation – Many online course creation platforms offer built-in e-commerce features, enabling course creators to monetize their expertise and skills by sharing knowledge that helps others.

Types Of Online Course Creation Platforms

Platform Type:Overview:Examples:
Learning Management System (LMS)A software application for creating, managing, and delivering educational courses and training programs.iSpring, LearnDash
Learning Experience Platform (LXP)An AI-driven platform that provides personalized learning experiences based on individual needs and preferences.Courseplay, Enparadigm
Online Course MarketplaceA platform that allows instructors to create and sell courses to a large, pre-existing audience.Udemy
Online Course Creation ToolsStand-alone tools that enable users to create and host courses on their own website or platform.Thinkific, Podia, Teachable

Learning Management System (LMS):

An LMS, such as iSpring or LearnDash, is a comprehensive solution for creating, managing, and tracking online courses.

These platforms offer features like course authoring tools, assessments, reporting, and user management. LMSs are suitable for organizations with extensive training needs, such as corporations and educational institutions.

Learning Experience Platform (LXP):

An LXP, like Courseplay, uses AI to provide personalized learning experiences based on individual learner needs and preferences.

These platforms often include features such as content recommendations, social learning, and gamification. These features are especially helpful for those who prioritize employee training and development as a part of their organization’s culture.

It offers a more engaging and adaptive learning experience.

Online Course Marketplace:

Platforms like Udemy allow instructors to create and sell courses to a large, pre-existing audience.

These marketplaces handle hosting, payment processing, and marketing, making it easier for instructors to focus on content creation. However, course creators have less control over pricing and branding compared to other platform types.

Online Course Creation Tools:

Stand-alone tools, such as Thinkific, Podia, and Teachable, enable users to create and host courses on their own website or platform.

These tools often provide features like drag-and-drop course builders, marketing tools, and e-commerce functionality. They are best suited for individual course creators or small businesses who want more control over their branding and pricing.

The platform choice depends on the course creator’s specific needs and goals.

Free vs. Paid Online Creation Platforms

When it comes to creating online courses, you have two main options: free platforms and paid platforms.

For instance, Udemy offers a completely free option to start selling your courses. There’s no upfront cost involved. Teachable and Podia also offer free plans that require no upfront cost (although come with limited features and higher transaction fees than their paid plans).

Free Platforms (like Udemy):

No upfront costs to get startedLimited features and customization options
Potential for a large, built-in audienceFee could still be dedicated from each course sale
Easy to use and set upLess control over your brand and user experience

Paid Platforms (like LearnDash or Thinkific):

Advanced features for creating interactive coursesMonthly or annual fees to use the platform
Fully customizable branding and user experienceYou need your own audience base to market and sell your courses
Ability to keep more of your revenueMore setup time and learning curve

Which Option Is Best For You?

It depends on your goals and resources.

If you’re just starting out and want to test the waters, a free platform like Udemy could be a good way to build an audience and validate your course idea.

But keep in mind that monetizing your courses and creating a professional brand will be more challenging.

If you’re serious about building a profitable online course business, a paid platform is the way to go. You’ll have access to all the tools and features you need to create high-quality courses, market them effectively, and provide a seamless user experience for your students.

All-in-one platforms like Teachable or Podia offer the best value for creators and small teams. They handle everything from hosting your course content to processing payments and delivering automatic updates to your students.

Advanced learning management systems (LMS) like iSpring or LearnDash provide more flexibility and integration options for larger businesses with more complex needs.

These platforms are designed to scale with your business as you grow your course catalog and student base.

In short, the best platform for you will depend on your specific content, audience, and goals.

Key Features To Look For While Choosing The Best Course Creation Platform

1. Course Creation Functionalities

First and foremost, you’ll want a platform with a robust set of tools for creating engaging courses.

Look for features like:

  • Drag-and-drop course builders
  • Support for various content types (video, audio, text, quizzes, etc.)
  • Student interaction tools (discussions, live sessions, etc.)
  • Mobile responsiveness
  • Completion tracking and progress reports

The specific features you need will depend on the type of courses you want to create.

For example, if you’re creating a simple video course, you may not need advanced quizzing capabilities.

But if you’re creating an interactive certification program, you’ll want a platform with support for assessments, certificates, and possibly even gamification elements.

2. Ease of Use

No matter how powerful a platform is, it won’t do you much good if it’s too complicated to use. Look for a platform with an user-friendly interface and simple course creation process.

Ideally, you should be able to create and launch your first course without any technical headaches or coding knowledge. Platforms like Teachable and Podia stand out in this area.

3. Pricing and Fees

Online course platforms typically charge in one of three ways:

  • Monthly or annual subscription fee (example: LearnDash)
  • Transaction fees on each course sale (example: Udemy)
  • A combination of both (example: Podia)

Consider your budget and expected sales volume to determine which pricing model makes the most sense for you. Keep in mind that platforms with higher fees often provide more features and support in return.

4. Sales and Marketing Tools

Creating a great course is not just enough. It also needs to reach the right people so that you can share the knowledge and generate the much-deserved revenue in return.

Look for a platform with built-in features like:

  • Customizable sales pages and checkout
  • Email marketing campaigns
  • Affiliate management
  • Coupon codes and promotions
  • Upsells and cross-sells

Some platforms, like Podia, even provide a full suite of tools for building your website, blog, and marketing funnels in one place.

5. Customization And Branding

Finally, consider how much control you want over the look and feel of your course site. Some platforms provide more customization options than others.

At the very least, you’ll want to be able to add your own logo, color scheme, and domain name to create a consistent brand experience. For more advanced users, full control over the site layout, navigation, and functionality is important.

Our Selection Process

To find the best platforms for online courses, we tested and reviewed lots of course creation tools based on these key criteria:

Scoring Criteria:Weight:
Course creation features25%
Ease of use20%
Pricing and value20%
Marketing and selling tools15%
Integrations and flexibility10%
Customer support10%

We gave the most importance to the course creation capabilities, looking for platforms with user-friendly course creation tools, engaging content types, and branding options.

Ease of use was also one of the important factors and tools that were easy-to-use and had less learning curve scored higher.

We also reviewed and compared the pricing plans of various platforms.

Tools that offered affordable pricing, feature-packed free plans, and better value for money scored better in our review process.

Finally, we also reviewed and tested each based on marketing features, integration capability, and customer support. Although these features are not as important as features, ease of use, and pricing, they are worth considering.

So that’s how we evaluated each tool based on all these criteria and found out the top 10 picks for you.

How To Pick The Best Platforms For Online Courses?

To select the best platform for online courses, start with understanding your audience and the type of course you want to create.

Think about:

  • What type of courses will you create?
  • Do you need support for videos, quizzes, live sessions, or just simple text and images?

Make sure the platform you choose can handle all your content needs.

Next, look for a platform with a user-friendly course builder and clean, modern user-interface for learners.

You don’t want to spend hours figuring out how to create a lesson or upload a video. Also, it’s important to make sure your course students get the best learning experience. That’s why the user-interface is so important.

Then, consider your budget. Online course platforms charge either a flat monthly fee, a percentage of your sales, or both.

Consider your budget and projected earnings to find the most cost-effective option.

To successfully sell your courses, you’ll also want a platform with built-in marketing features like landing pages, email campaigns, and affiliate programs.

Some platforms also handle payment processing and taxes for you.

If you already have a website or use other tools, pick a platform that can integrate with them seamlessly. For instance, LearnDash offers a WordPress plugin that easily integrates with any WordPress site.

Selecting the tool with strong integration capability will save you time and hassle in the long run.

You’ll also want to create a consistent brand experience for your students.

Platforms like Teachable and Thinkific let you customize your course site with your own logo, colors, and domain name.

Now, the best platform for you will depend on your specific needs and goals. If you’re just starting out, consider user-friendly options like Teachable or Podia that handle all the tech details for you.

For employee training and development, consider options like iSpring, Enparadigm, or Go1.

If you’re a creator and you want more advanced features and customization, then Thinkific and LearnDash are top choices.

And if you want to get your course in front of a large existing audience base, consider marketplace platforms like Udemy.

Final Thoughts

So, when it comes to choosing the best platform for online courses, your requirements and goals are important factors worth considering. 

In this guide, we explored the top 10 platforms that are suitable for various needs.

Whether you’re a content creator looking for an easy option to sell your digital products, an educator who wants to engage students, or an organization focused on employee development and training, there’s an option for every need.

But out of all, Podia stands out as our top pick for creators, and iSpring for employee development. And for advanced users looking for a feature-packed Learning Management System (LMS), LearnDash is our top pick.

Each of these platforms offer the best value for money and offer all the essential features needed for effective course creation.

Are you into HR management and would you like to upgrade your talent and skill sets? Visit hrtech today to explore top courses and certification programs.


Related Posts