This article will walk you through the best online course platforms to create and sell courses online this year. 

The online course creation industry has been on the rise, with more and more people seeking to learn from the comforts of their homes. As a result of this newly increased demand, a demand to create more valuable and skill-focused course content has been formed. 

Consequently, lots of course creation platforms have come up, but abundance can often go from blessing to major confusion. When investing your time and skills into creating an online product, you need to have the right tools by your side, so that you can present your best work to your audience. 

If you’re already using vFairs to host webinars and market virtual events around your skills and knowledge, this is something of importance to explore. Creating courses can act as wonderful sources of passive income. Chances are you already have a curious audience, even an email list you can develop even more using a suite of tools available.  So why not use it?

1. Airschool

Airschool helps creators, experts and brands with sizable audiences launch online courses. The platform is very popular among YouTubers, Instagram and LinkedIn experts to create knowledge sharing products for their audiences. 

Several course creators use platforms like vFairs to build and convert their audiences via webinars. For this year, this is our top suggestion. In the past, we have seen a monopoly of subscription-based models in online course platforms. If you pay up, you can access a suite of features – if you don’t, you lose access. 

Airschool has successfully reinvented that with their commission-based pricing model. This means you have unlimited access to host courses on the platform, there are no upfront costs, no credit card card requirements – yet all the features are the same, in some cases, more. It’s a game-changer. 

The platform has a beginner-friendly sign-up process, after which one can immediately access their dashboard and start creating self-paced courses or live, cohort-based courses. 

Self-paced courses

Creating self-paced courses (also called recorded courses) on Airschool is a straightforward process. The course setup feature on it allows users to write in their course details and upload videos. Self-paced courses on the platform also feature course analytics that give insight into how people are watching, viewing, & engaging with your course content. Course comments and one-click reminder buttons are also enabled. 

Live, cohort-based courses

Cohort-based courses (or live courses), on the other hand, are equally easy to set up and again, free to host. One of the coolest things about this feature is that it is integrated with Zoom, and has attendance trackers. Experts also have the ability to record and upload their live sessions for learners to watch at a later time.  

Both types of courses are supported by built-in email automations, through which emails are triggered at different points of the learner’s journey. If your live class is going live in 15 minutes, your learners get a reminder. If a course hasn’t been paid for, the potential learner gets an email. 

Airschool also assigns a sales agent to every user that launches a course. The agent helps with course sales by following up through calls and sms.

Here are some features available at Airschool, see if they check your boxes:

  • Unlimited live & recorded course creation
  • Payment methods (140+ countries)
  • Sales Agent
  • Built-in automated emails
  • Analytics for enrolments, payments
  • Course analytics, learner comments
  • Third party integrations, retargeting pixel support 
  • Discount codes, customized certificate generation
  • Affiliate program for experts, and a lot more

When it comes to payment, the platform is significant in its diversification of payment methods, especially for Asian audiences. Learners can seamlessly make payments via Stripe, Paypal, Google Pay, Bank transfer, as well as some local country-to-country payment app integrations. So it’s safe to say, Airschool’s range of features is ever-increasing and its value undeniable.

 2. Thinkific

Thinkific is one of the popular choices of LMS (learning management system) for edupreneurs, having been around for a while now. Their platform is designed to market and sell courses besides simply hosting them. They provide a range of business tools to market and grow courses, allowing affiliate rewards for course sharing.  

Moreover, if you have a need, the platform can be integrated with other apps as well like Zoom, Prezi, Calendly, etc for better course operation. Its easy-to-use site and event builder comes with theme options for users to design their courses according to their taste and brand, which is a big plus, especially for larger businesses and individuals.

Some features available on Thinkific: 

  • Full video & content hosting of any type
  • Built-in content creation tools
  • Embed 3rd party tools and sites
  • Student course reviews
  • Quizzes, Voice over PowerPoint presentation tool
  • Student surveys
  • Order tracking, conversion tracking, and retargeting pixel support & Javascript tracking

All that comes at a price. While it offers a free package, it has limited features. One of which sticks out the most is the inability to create an unlimited number of courses. Since their feature offerings are a handful, they charge a monthly premium as follows: Basic Plan $49, Pro Plan $ 99, and a Premier Plan $499 per month. 

3. Teachable

If you are looking for a site for hosting largely video-driven content, then Teachable is a good resource. The site is fairly simple to use which makes it great for beginners. Besides its easy setup, users also get SEO-optimized URLs and meta-descriptions for individual courses.

On a community level, Teachable is popular for hosting virtual community events for their global audiences with users. These events set out with different agendas every now and then through platforms like vFairs, and consist of live and semi-live webinars spread across several days. 

Compared to Thinkific, Teachable offers comparatively affordable plans ($39 to $299/month), however, there is no free plan offered like Airschool. With its pro plan, creators get access to unlimited student enrolments, course hosting, and up to five user accounts – perfect for multi-instructor setup. 

Here are some features you can find on Teachable: 

  • Unlimited students
  • Course product & coaching product
  • Members-only community
  • Integrated email marketing
  • Drip campaigns & coupon codes
  • Third party integrations & community integrations
  • Product support (varies according to plans)

However, there are a few downsides to Teachable too. Although its interface is pretty straightforward, support can be inconsistent at times. Moreover, they charge extra $$$ for integrating payment methods other than PayPal. This can be a deal-breaker. Regardless, its affordability and user-friendliness make it one of the best online course platforms around. 

4. Kajabi

Kajabi is one of the more high-end online course platforms, which is best suited for expert creators. If you are a beginner or a small edupreneur, then Kajabi might not be for you. However, if you are wishing to set up an online academy and are an experienced creator then this is just the place. Even Amy Porterfield has endorsed this platform!

There are three pricing plans: Basic for $119, Growth for $159, and Pro for $319 per month (there are also per annum subscriptions available). An interesting feature that is common in all the plans is that you can create pipelines for your webinars. Since it caters to big edupreneurs, it also comes with great marketing features including professionally branded messages. 

Here are some of the features on Kajabi: 

  • Unlimited landing pages
  • Unlimited marketing emails
  • 10,000 contacts & 1000 active members
  • 1 website
  • Ready-to-use templates
  • Automations
  • Assessments (Quizzes & Surveys)

The pricing is on the higher side compared to the other platforms on this list but the hands-on expert support team may justify it for some. For the price they charge, they could’ve added some options like vFair’s event gamification tool to make the digital offering more diverse – but it’s not present. 

As the site is made with professionals in mind, it can appear too technical and deter beginner course creators from opting for it. Overall it lives up to its name of being an expensive and detailed LMS provider. 

5. Podia

Podia’s homepage header reads: Everything you need to sell courses, webinars, downloads, and memberships, and we quite agree with that. Created for coaches, the platform has evolved to become an all-in-one site for hosting stand-alone courses. 

Although not as big as the others yet, Podia has a feature for pre-selling courses. This helps drive sales even before the course is fully shown to the audience. Most sales are done by creating hype around it. It also helps the course creator tweak their product during the process, since they’re getting questions and feedback. 

The pricing plans include Mover for $39, Shaker for $79, and Earthquaker for $179 per month. Another promising thing about Podia is that there is no transaction fee (only a small processing fee)! Its three-step course setup process is also very handy for beginners. 

Here’s a list of some of the features that Podia offers:

  • Integrated membership sites
  • Email marketing 
  • Affiliate marketing
  • No transaction fees
  • Custom website & custom bundles
  • Round the clock customer support
  • Unlimited memberships, student onboarding, and courses.

Whilst the platform is super convenient to use, some can also find it to be limiting, since presently there are only a few customization options. However, Podia is evolving and in the future, we can see more options for creators.

So folks, if you’re looking to publish a course of yours and in search of online course platforms, this list should help you out. We’ve focused on creating as narrowed down a list as we can, so that you don’t get lost in a sea of online course platforms that are lacklustre.

Take them out for a test drive and find out which of these online course platforms is the ONE for you!

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