5+ Top Online Course Platforms (Compared And Reviewed)
Thanks for checking out this article on the top online course platform in 2022. Online course creation has been one of the fastest growing industries of recent times.
It has become the logical next step for many content creators to exponentially boost their revenue.
Many YouTube content creators for example, in all kinds of niches, have been able to massively build upon their business revenue, which generally comes from YouTube ads, by converting sometimes 10,000’s subscribers into paying members of their niche-related courses.
I am a member of a few programs and communities myself, one of which boasts 80,000 students paying $49/month. Thats $3,920,000 per month in revenue for something that has basically zero overheads outside of a monthly fee.
It’s no wonder it is a growing industry and a sought after path for many content creators, coaches, consultants, and experts.
Along with the demand for course creation, a multitude of platforms naturally burst onto the scene to cater to this rising influx of potential subscribers.
In this article, we will look at who the current market leaders are. I’ve looked into over 20 online course platforms and narrowed them down to my top 5.
If you’re in the market for building a course, you’ve come to the right place!
What Is The Top Online Course Platform?
|Online Course Platform||Price||Yearly Discount?||Free Trial?||Best For|
|Thinkific||Free Limited: $0,|
|20%||✅||Best Professional Suite|
|Mighty Networks||Community: $39/month,|
|15%||✅||Best For Community Focus|
|Podia||Free Limited: $0,|
|17%||✅||Best For Beginners On A Budget|
Pro Trainer: $99/month,
Learning Centre: $299/month,
|20%||✅||Best For Trainers & Interactivity|
1. Thinkific (Best All-Around)
Thinkific is a relatively new platform and the team has obviously paid attention to what people are looking for when it comes to a top online course platform. It would be my all-around recommendation due to having about everything you need while coming in at the lowest price on the list.
A few of the outstanding features:
- Create amazing looking, intuitive courses
- Create a professional website and course storefront to market your product
- Marketing and E-Commerce Tools
- Community-building features, student tracking, and analytics
- Scalable solution the more members who signup
- The ability to use Wistia enabling excellent video security
if you needed some extra proof as to why Thinkific is undoubtedly a market leader in the space, the freelancing platform Fiverr actually uses the Thinkific technology at scale to provide its massive catalog of online courses.
When looking at the pricing comparison on the above list, it honestly seems like Thinkific is under-priced given the sheer scale of features it offers.
The good news is that you can get started for free before committing fully to one of the premium options.
The basic option comes in at $39/month for all of the free features plus some extra goodies like a website, domain, coupons, drip content and more. This is already a hugely powerful option for most peoples needs.
If you want to go a step above, the Pro version is $79/month and is more suited to a team with more admin accounts and more advanced options for setting up your course and community. To scale above and beyond there is also the Premier option at $399/month.
Details in full below:
Thinkific should definitely considered the cream of the crop when it comes to top online course platforms.
It offers multiple incredible solutions at affordable and competitive prices. I struggle to find anything extra that I’d want to be added to my course/website solution as Thinkific has done a good job of ticking virtually every single box.
In addition, the company only continues to grow recently adding faster performing purchases pages and upsell options to increase revenue further.
2. Kajabi (Best Professional Suite)
Kajabi is one of the top online course platforms on the list. It has been around for a few years now and was actually the first-ever course creator that I was exposed to around 2018. It was very clear to me then that this was an extremely powerful host for courses based on how the program I was involved in was marketed and built upon.
Kajabi includes everything you need to create professional programs beyond basic courses. The ability to tweak your program is available and the all-in-one suite for both course creation and marketing tools is also incredible.
Using the Pipeline functionality, everything you need is available to ensure you have a fully optimized funnel, from marketing tools, to website building, landing pages, email marketing functionality, all the way down to course signups, events and webinars.
It truly is the all-in-one professional suite, which is why it comes in at a fairly hefty premium compared to other products on the list.
A few of my favorite features include:
- Easy to create membership sites
- Product generator and easy to edit templates
- Customer/student management software built-in including automations
- Metrics and reports with tonnes of data points to help refine your pipeline and everything within it.
It’s no surprise that Kajabi is ‘up there’ when it comes to it’s pricing options with the minimum basic option at a staggering $149/month, but includes most of what you will need as far as starting a program goes, allowing for up to 10,000 contacts and unlimited pages and emails
The growth version is $199/month and is for when you are ready to scale. It is essentially just more of what is offered in the basic program. More contacts, more members, more admins, and more automations.
For those really flying with their products to the tune of 100,000+ members, the Pro version is also available and allows you access to the code editor to really customize what your programs offer.
Kajabi is undoubtedly a top online course platform, especially for those who really what customizability within their courses, as well as an all-in-one suite that covers website, marketing, email, funnel, and course building tools.
Using Kajabi potentially means you won’t even need a third-party autoresponder, website, funnel creator, webinar or e-commerce platform, as they are all included.
If your business is selling your expertise online and you want to drop any extra tools you use, then the price doesn’t actually seem that high. My recommendation would be to simply signup to the growth trial version and see if you are actually going to use all of the features.
3. Mighty Networks (Best For Community Focus)
There isn’t a top online course platform list without Mighty Works, purely due to it’s unique approach to course building and community.
I first came across Mighty Networks when checking out various premium Money-Twitter communities that were using it to build monthly subscription network groups. This was something very new to me, but after joining a few of these communities, I started to see the appeal as well as the power of building, not just a course, but a community or network.
Might Networks stands out as a little bit different from other products in this list for the main reason that it does focus on building exclusive networks (It’s in the name).
In a way, it combines the exclusivity of a Patreon account with the community feel of an exclusive Social Media platform. In fact, many creators of Mighty Network groups do market their program in a way akin to, Social Media is all noise, and people should join their more exclusive network where all the content is valuable.
I suppose that hits on certain psychological points well, like our innate desire to feel part of something especially if it’s exclusive
Some of my favorite features of Mighty Networks:
- Live streaming and uploading of videos that can be distributed to users
- Personalization technology that ensures each member gets a customized experience, only being fed content that is catered to them
- Unlimited members. A real stand-out feature in an industry where many companies use member amounts as an excuse to upsell buyers.
- Landing pages and domains that you can customize to match your brand
There are two primary plans with Mighty Networks as well as an higher-end custom plan.
The lowest tier Community plan allows you to run a paid membership community with live streaming, video, and communication channels from messaging to event and zoom integration. This is $39/month or if you pay yearly, you only pay for 10 months, giving roughly a 15% discount.
The business plan unlocks Online courses and Live Cohort Courses, which is a fairly new way to create online courses, which generally work as a one-time viewing type deal as if it was a real-life convention, workshop, or seminar.
You also get access to business features, such as member data and analytics as well as workflows and 3rd party integrations. This is $119/month with also 2 months free if you pay yearly.
Despite aiming at the community angle over the education and course-building one, Mighty Works is still a top online course platform. I’ve personally seen many communities built to great effect allowing like-minded people to come together with a common goal in mind, as well as access courses within the community.
Specifically, I’ve tested MightyNetwork groups out in the fitness and certain esoteric niches where individuals are looking to exchange ideas and discuss topics rather than sit and learn about how to do something.
MightyNetworks, I believe would therefore cater to those building that kind of audience E.G. an audience that is beyond the basics of that particular niche and is more interested in discussion, like an advanced network of some sort.
4. Podia (Best For Beginners On A Budget)
Podia is really your jack-of-all-trades of top online course platforms, in that while it does focus on the educational element the most, the team has taken a leaf out of the community building book as well.
In addition to courses and community aspects, Podia also has additional functionality, like email list building, webinars, and the ability to create affiliates and teams.
A cool part about Podio is that their purchasing funnel is almost set out in a way that kinds you from the most important thing and moves you along the course selling life cycle, almost unintentionally.
The truth is that if you’re starting from scratch, the website and email list are the most important things, and only when you build a list and web traffic should you really start offering premium coaching, downloads or community access.
Once you get an influx of visitors wanting access to coaching and premium content, it then makes sense to scale coaching into an online course, which is then offered at their 3rd and 4th tier pricing.
This is a very unique way and helpful way to structure a pricing plan, intentional or not.
Some of my favorite features of Podia:
- Course selling variation, including standard course creation, but also drip-feeding, as well as pre-selling and upselling on your courses. This is great for maximizing revenue.
- Everything from website creation to course creation are all available in one platform meaning less need and expense required on other 3rd party tools.
- The ability to sell coaching sessions as well as courses. This is great and a very effective way to create an upsell within your product line
- Zero transaction fees and instant payouts. Awesome.
As previously mentioned the pricing structure is laid out depending on where you are in your online business creation timeline. If you have no audience but have the goal to sell courses and coaching, it’s best to spend less and build the audience first. To do this it is $0 with Podia’s free option
The Mover option is next on the list, ideal for selling coaching and courses. This is $33/month.
The Shaker plan allows you to add affiliates in order to really scale your marketing efforts for $75/month, and finally the Earthquaker option for $166/month for a few extra features you can see below.
Podia is a top online course platform suited for beginners who don’t want to spend money upfront on a monthly basis before really getting things off the ground.
It is easily one of the best free online course platforms out there. The free option offers everything you need as a beginner, and as things start to pick up, you can move up the pricing list as far as you deem necessary.
5. LearnWorlds (Best For Trainers & Interactivity)
LearnWorlds is a unique option in this top online course platform list and is continually growing in popularity and accolades. LearnWorlds stands out due to its unique approach to learning that you won’t find in other products.
LearnWorlds has really put a lot of effort into building multiple forms of interactivity within their course creation to the point where this would likely be my best choice for those catering to children. It even calls it’s course creator an online school.
Of course adults like variation and interactivity as well, so don’t feel in any way limited as to who you can create course for with LearnWorlds.
Some of my favorite features include:
- Interactive Video creation on a native host
- Interactive text functionality and customization, such as highlighting and notepad popup.
- Assessments, Quizzes
- One of the best online course platforms with certificates
- The ability to build a learning community around your course
Like the other products on this list, LearnWorlds also allows you to forgo paying for third-party tools, and offers a custom domain, site builder, popups, and built-in community at even the lowest tier, giving you the main tools you need to get started.
The pricing for LearnWorlds is on the lower end and even at the basic Starter tier for $29/month, you’re really getting everything you’ll need to get started and more.
The Pro Trainer option for $99/month has been built for personal trainers and therefore has the live class options that integrate via Zoom or Webex. This option also allows for unlimited courses, landing pages, and popups. There’s also an interesting installments option available here so you can onboard students who can’t pay for your course at one time.
The Learning Center plan is the most popular offering at $299/month and is the more professional package with white-label options and a lot more in the way of analytics, integrations, and support.
See the plans in detail below.
LearnWorlds is definitely one of the top online course platforms. The interactivity is the real selling point, and they might actually be ahead of the curve with how much they’ve focused on it.
As online courses become more the norm, the need to stand out and be different and offer a degree of interactivity (and dare I say entertainment) might be something people place a lot of importance on.
If you’re looking to create a course that involves students following along, then this could be the number one pick for personal trainers, yoga instructors, and the like. Similarly to those offering online courses for children, LearnWorlds is definitely worth a look via their free trial.
To Wrap Up
Thanks for checking out this article on the top online course platform for 2022. I wanted to compare online course platforms and after scouring 20 platforms, these are the 5 best that had something for everybody.
To conclude, I chose the following if you’re looking to create the best online courses.
- Thinkific (Best All-Around)
- Kajabi (Best Professional Suite)
- MightyNetworks (Best For Community Focus)
- Podia (Best For Beginners On A Budget)
- LearnWorlds (Best For Trainers & Interactivity)
Since every product mentioned has a free trial, I’d definitely recommend right-clicking the red buttons, opening up a few tabs, and trying them all out to ensure you’re choosing the best online course creator for you and your business.
Best of luck going forward!
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