THE BEST 22 ONLINE COURSE SOFTWARE AND PLATFORMS IN 2021
Find the world’s best online course software & platforms 2021 list. Build online courses with these well-ranked online course creator tools. Written by Mau. Senior Digital Marketing Specialist and Training Facilitator at eDigital.
THE BEST 22 ONLINE COURSE SOFTWARE & PLATFORMS 2021 LIST
Are you thinking about launching your first online course? or maybe you’ve already launched an online program and you are looking for a better, easier way to teach and sell your course online?
Are you thinking of using a powerful yet simple online course software to deliver engaging classes to students or clients and help them grow at a price that won’t break the bank? Perhaps you’ve already tried an online course software, or maybe you’ve even attempted to custom build your own online course using WordPress and a bunch of plugins.
You still have the same question:
What’s the best online course creator software that allows me to deliver an inspiring online course my students love completing and rave about the results they are getting?
You should be able to run your online course easily plus accessing a support team to help you design, launch and promote your online course. You want paying students and that’s why you need more than just an online course creator tool.
Below you will find some of the World’s best Course creator software and platforms you can review and start monetising your skills and knowledge and share your passion.
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WHAT’S NEW THIS YEAR
As consumers spend more time at home due to the current global health crisis, they are all looking for novel online experiences with the brands they love, using all this time indoors to learn something new.
Below are some interesting facts and trends:
- According to online publisher Wired, online learning platform Shaw Academy had over 143,000 people registered for courses in 2019. But in 2020, they experience and increase to 980,000 people registered for courses. Photography, graphic design and nutrition were the most popular courses.
- According to the latest Coursera impact report, a whopping 87% of people who learned a new skill over the past year said it boosted their career financially. You can use this insight when communicating the benefits of completing your online course.
THE BEST 22 ONLINE COURSE SOFTWARE, CREATORS, TOOLS, PLATFORMS & LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (LMS) – LIST
There is only one online course creator software that wins all the rest. If you are serious about choosing only the best course creator, contact me and I will be happy to help you review the best online course software for your training business.
Academy of Mine is an online e-learning platform. Some of its top key features include:
- Easy to use builder. User-friendly drag n drop builder to create online courses in minutes.
- Instructor & student dashboard. You can manage all courses, students and orders in one place.
- 100% responsive design. Your online course will be ready for desktops, tablets and phones.
- Customise anything. With flexible settings, you can customise almost all parts of your online course.
- Secure. TLS 2.0 encryption and SSL for your online course. Runs on 100% https.
- Prebuilt layouts. No need to build from scratch. Use our pre-built layouts to start with
- Multi-lingual. Offer your online course in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German and other languages.
Accessally is a membership plugin and LMS for WordPress course creators who want deep marketing automation integration to sell, teach and engage with a single WordPress LMS Plugin. AccessAlly is one of the most popular WordPress membership plugin and automation marketing course creator. It also offers gamification strategies to keep your students engaged. Some of its key features include:
- Built to sell. Nice built-in order forms, affiliate tracking, and 1-click up-sell functionality.
- Multiple currencies. Start taking orders directly on your WordPress site with Stripe or PayPal payment gateways. With the built-in order forms you can accept multiple currencies, offer payment plans or subscriptions and add order bumps.
- Affiliate program. Set up your own affiliate program with multiple affiliate tiers. Easily create affiliate links, set up an affiliate dashboard with stats and banners. Compatible with InfusionSoft & Ontraport’s affiliate tracking.
- Quick check out. Reduce shopping cart abandonment with a simple, 3-step checkout process that lets you capture your visitors’ email address and follow up if they don’t complete the purchase – increasing sales through automation.
- Mobile-friendly order forms. Beautiful order forms with customisable colours. You can add testimonials and guarantees to increase conversions. Order forms also available in Spanish and French.
- Easy course trial offer set up. Offer a free or paid trial period followed by recurring payments (monthly or yearly with Stripe or PayPal) and watch your membership grow. Increase revenue with 1-click up-sells and order bumps.
- Cross-selling. Show all of your courses and programs in a member dashboard with customisable icons and links to instant up-sell and sales pages of your choice.
- Easily promote course coupons and discounts. Offer coupons & discounts as unique time-sensitive incentives for your customers. Email special offers to those who abandoned their cart and win them back.
- Automatically apply taxes and or shipping fees. Keep compliant with the EUVAT and your local tax laws. The software settings apply taxes or shipping fees at the province/state or country levels.
- Design your own metrics dashboard. Keep track of the key stats that drive your business with the drag-and-drop metrics dashboard. Drill down on a per-product basis, or see your aggregated business data all in one place. You can see stats at-a-glance or design charts to showcase trends in sales, subscriptions, refunds or abandoned carts.
COURSE CATS 🔥 POPULAR 🔥
Coursecats allows you to build well crafted online courses, grow your email lists and sell your online courses. You can start using Coursecats for $59/month. This is great for people who are new to building and selling online courses and do not want to spend too much every month.
Some of its key features include:
- Concierge service. Their concierge service will manage the tech part – they’ll point your domain to your web host, install WordPress and install their theme. Not sure what this means is? No problem, they can help explain that too!
- Step-by-step tutorials to add content to pages, such as your sales page, homepage and nice-looking opt-in landing pages. The software allows you to add a blog too but I would suggest keeping your blog separately.
- Easy course creator. Add courses and lessons including content, videos and any downloads you might want to provide to your students.
- Customise it. Customise the look and feel of your online course.
- Course content protection. When you’re ready to start selling your first course, they’ll show you how to protect your course content (so only your customers can view it) and set up your payment gateway (so you can get paid!).
- Get more customers. They’ll explain to you how to make your online course live so you can make your first sale. From there, it’ll be all about continuing to grow your email list, sell your existing course and maybe planning your next course!
COURSECRAFT ⭐️ FREE ⭐️
CourseCraft is a free online course software to build self-paced online courses. If you use their free package, they will take a 9% commission for every online course you sell, which is quite fair. Some of its key features include:
- Easy editor. Easy to use and flexible enough for any type of course. Create as many lessons as you need and upload images, videos and downloadable files. They host all of it for you!
- Paypal or Stripe integration. Connect your Stripe or PayPal account (or both) and receive a deposit the moment someone enrols in your course.
- Lesson scheduling. Save time and schedule your lessons. You can set the publish date to a specific date or release your lessons a certain number of days after enrollment.
- Easy integration. It only takes a couple of clicks to integrate with your blog or website. Embed codes make it easy for people to enrol in your course.
- Forms and quizzes. Add forms, quizzes or surveys to your course. A great way to interact with your students.
- Adds-on monetisation. Sell extra optional add-ons to your course. Anything from a downloadable to consulting hours, or anything else you can think of.
- Private courses and classes. Restrict access to your course with an access code. Great for internal training.
- Bring collaborators to your course content. Collaborate on your course with friends and colleagues. They’ll be able to create and edit lessons and work with you to create amazing course content.
- Promo codes. Easily offer sales and promotions using the promo codes. Restrict the code to a single course or offer a discount on all your courses.
- Allow comments on your course lessons. Interact with your course participants directly on each lesson. Have a conversation, answer their questions or encourage them to upload photos of their work.
- Your branding. Replace the CourseCraft logo with your own and change up the colour scheme for seamless integration with your brand. It creates a professional look for your online course.
- Course stats. Know where you stand with the handy stats dashboard page. Track and see trends in your views, enrollments, and sales. You own your participant list – export it at any time!
Domêstika started as an online course marketplace for creatives that speak Spanish. Today, Domêstika also offers online courses in English by creators from all around the world. You can generate income by teaching online courses in Domêstika.
Domêstika is helping thousands of people teach new skills and monetise their hobbies. Key features include:
- You add the content and Domestika makes it happen. This will be the beginning of a project you will do with Domestika, side by side.
- Get your community of fans interested in your course. Get inspired and inspire other creatives.
- Anyone can publish a course. Any professional in the creative field can. A team of professionals is responsible for reviewing every proposal in detail to ensure that it meets Domestika’s quality standards.
- You do not have to worry about anything. Domestika will take care of the production costs for your course and in addition, you will earn money.
- Promote your creative courses. The courses should be aimed at creating a project in any of the Domestika areas: photography and video, illustration, 3D and animation, marketing, design, calligraphy and typography, craft and technology.
- Great for short courses. a Domestika course has between two and four hours of content and they recommend that at least 60% of that content is in video format. But they will advise you in detail on all these topics in due time.
- Get paid quick and easy. You only need a Paypal account. As soon as Domestika verify it, they will send you the instructions so that you can receive payments.
go1 – backed by Microsoft & Salesforce – is an online learning platform focused specifically on professional training online courses (both those to enhance a worker’s skills as well as those needed for company compliance training). It sells online courses from some of the world’s top trainers and instructors. The company started out in Brisbane, Australia and now has its operations based out of San Francisco, California, USA. Key benefits include:
- Expand your reach. Leverage our growing network of the most commonly used technology partners to reach a wide range of organisations across the world. Take advantage of the fast growth of the online learning industry with go1.
- Reach students outside your network. Your content will be delivered to learners via the go1 platform, or through go1 partners such as SuccessFactors, Totara, or Microsoft Teams. Joining the go1 Content Hub provides distribution on a global scale, enabling your content to be at the fingertips of millions of potential users through our direct and affiliate channels.
- Create your own online school. Use the go1 Platform as your personalised shop-front, allowing you to sell and distribute your content directly to your own customers, free of charge. 100% of the revenue earned is yours to keep.
- Receive the best insights. go1 onboarding team will work with you to find the most appropriate solution and support you with automated billing and analytics, so you can spend more time creating amazing content.
Build, market and sell your online course, membership site or coaching program with no coding, no hiring, no learning curve, no plugins and no broken integrations. Just a beautiful, professional knowledge business built with just a few clicks with Kajabi. Key benefits and features include:
- Best online courses creator. Transform your expertise into polished, profitable digital products with Kajabi. Teach, coach, train, consult — and enjoy the freedom to think big.
- Easy to use product generator. Quick and easy to create online courses, membership sites, subscriptions or start from scratch.
- Build your student gated community online. Your product can also be an online community where your students can connect with you and with one another. Gather with your audience in a community that’s independent of social media platforms.
- No code necessary. With Kajabi’s Product Blueprints, you always have a head start on creating polished online courses and launching them out into the market fast. No need to worry about coding or programming an online course.
KARTRA ⚡️ GREAT VALUE ⚡️
With Kartra, you can create, market and launch an online course without hiring a team of copywriters, web developers, designers or system integrators.
Do you want to create a full learning experience? Got knowledge to share?
Kartra Memberships is a feature-packed portal that enables you to organise and share your content with your customer base.
No matter whether you want to create a training course or a private community space or even a multi-topic content directory, Kartra Memberships gives you full flexibility to build it out while making sure the whole experience for your users remains intuitive and hassle-free.
Some of its key features include:
- Course progression tracking Kartra Memberships’ progression bar tracks how far your customers have advanced within your membership content, so they can easily pick up where they left it.
- Full analytical data such as average user progression level, the average number of days from registration to the course completion, etc. But that’s not all.
- Progressive content that leads students to a higher tier. The system knows when a user has completed your course, so you can configure a number of automated actions. For example: display a congratulations message, or automatically unlock the next access tier, or subscribe them to an “advanced user mailing list”, etc. In short, you pave the way beyond the training course itself.
LEARNDASH 🔥 POPULAR🔥
One of the most popular WordPress LMS plugin, LearnDash allows you to transform your site in less than 5 minutes! LearnDash courses are dynamic, engaging, and offer the latest in e-learning industry trends. Key features include:
- Advanced quizzes. Single Answer, Multiple Choice, Sorting, Matching, Fill-In-The-Blank, Free Text, Survey, and Essay questions all supported.
- Drip-feed content. Drip-feed lessons according to a specific schedule.
- Flexible prerequisites. Set courses, lessons and quizzes based prerequisites.
- Dynamic forums. Private or public course specific forums for your enrolled students.
- Course points. Award points for completing courses and unlocking new ones.
- Certificates and badges. Award course certificates and points for course activities or key achievements.
- One-time purchase. One time price, subscription and shopping cart supported.
Note >> There one only one – by far – that I love using! Contact me and I will be happy to tell you. I can also train your team on how to best use.
LearnPress is one of the best WordPress LMS Plugins that can be used to easily create & sell courses online. Each course curriculum can be made with lessons & quizzes which can be managed with an “easy-to-use” user interface. With this WordPress LMS plugin, you can quickly and easily create education, online school, online-course websites with no coding knowledge required.
With LearnWorlds, you can create and sell online courses from your own website. A great course platform for creating, selling and promoting your online courses. You can start monetising your skills, experiences by packaging them as online courses and sell them to your fans and followers all around the world.
“You can validate your online course demand by launching a simple landing page with Fastfunnels or other tool and run some Google ads or social media ads to it. If you see people registering to your course you can then choose one of these LMS platforms to build your online course” MAU.
LifterLMS can help you create (and sell) your online courses. Easily create & sell courses, deliver quizzes, award certificates, manage users, download reports, and so much more! By using LifterLMS you have access to the latest e-learning industry trends for creating robust learning experiences. Some of its key features:
- All-in-one LMS solution. All the LMS, reporting, e-commerce, membership, engagement, and gamification benefits are included and supported by LifterLMS.
- Create “high-value” online training programs that include coaching and community, not just courses.
- Different pricing settings. Simply set the price, choose the pricing model (one-time sales, subscriptions, memberships, bundles), and publish.
- Reward your learners. Deliver certificates, points, and badges to encourage learners.
- Drip-feed content. Automatically deliver content according to a predefined schedule.
- Engagement triggers. Interact with learners based on the actions they do in your courses.
- Manage learner progress. Set the learning path, mark tasks complete, and review submissions.
- User groups. Group learners and assign a Group Leader to manage their progress.
- Communicate clearly. Send course-specific messages and automatic email notifications.
- Any payment gateway. PayPal, Stripe, 2Checkout, and 300+ others with WooCommerce
- Automatic renewal notifications. No renewal? Choose to remove access.
- Refund protection. Scheduled content to lower your refund rates and increase revenue.
MasterClass offers online classes created for students of all skill levels. People learn from some of the world’s best instructors in business like Robin Roberts, Bob Iger, Howard Shultz, Chris Voss, Sara Blakely or Anna Wintour.
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Moodle is your end-to-end online learning platform for K12, higher education and workplace training. One of the most used open-source LMS in the world. Moodle enables you to create a private learning space online full of engaging activities and material. You will always have full control of all your data and the way your staff, students and clients are on-boarded into the system. Some of its key features and benefits:
- Open Source. True, full-featured, open-source ensures you can own your site and your content on your own terms.
- Full integration. Strong admin features to make it integrate perfectly into any situation and with platforms and services like Google Apps, Microsoft Office 365, NextCloud and others.
- Customisable. A modern interface that can be customised through themes and settings to tailor your site to your organisation’s and learners’ needs.
- Extensible. Thousands of free community-created plugins to add new functionality to support students, teachers and administrators.
- Accessibility tools. Build your multimedia content with full support for all students, following common accessibility standards. Benefit from integrated accessibility checking tools when adding and editing your text.
- Mobile ready. Strong support on mobile devices (phones, tablets and laptops) with full functionality for students.
- Analytics and tracking. Monitor your learners with enhanced completion tracking and personalised learning plans, built from competency frameworks and learning objectives. Benefit from Moodle’s powerful analytics to predict and support learners at risk of failing.
- Social learning. Support your learners on their journey through private messaging, group activities and collaborative experiences
Podia is one of the easiest ways to turn your passion into income. Sell online courses, memberships, and digital downloads. No technical headaches, zero transaction fees, and unlimited everything. Podia offers everything for your course: Online courses, memberships, digital downloads, email marketing and affiliate marketing.
- Sell webinars with YouTube or Zoom – sell live classes and workshops using the world’s best video tools.
- Email broadcast schedule – set it and forget it email marketing.
- Add a free trial to memberships – give potential members the opportunity to try out your membership community and products.
Your knowledge is worth teaching – teach it with Sensei LMS. Share your knowledge, grow your network, and strengthen your brand by launching an online course.
Create engaging multimedia lectures. Add video, image, text, audio, and PDF files. Easily import content directly from Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive. Build a beautiful website. You can work with your existing website or create new pages on Teachable, all with our intuitive drag-and-drop builder.
With Thinkific you can make every decision about publishing, pricing, and promoting your education business while crafting amazing learning experiences for your audience.
Some of its key features:
- Quick drag and drop. Thinkific is simple enough to launch a course quickly but powerful enough for the most demanding online schools – no coding required.
- Customise your course: private and hidden courses, prerequisite lessons, multiple instructors, drip schedule content, cohorts, evergreen and expiring content, membership sites.
Totara Learn is a flexible, open learning management system (LMS) that gives organisations the freedom to learn. Deliver training and performance appraisals anywhere, anytime. Improve engagement, ensure compliance and achieve breakthrough results across your organisation and extended enterprise. As an open-source learning platform, Totara Learn is fully customisable, enabling you to make it your own. You are free to integrate and extend to suit your timescale and business needs. With Totara Learn you to take full control of your content, performance management, learning management, platform configuration and reporting.
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You can teach online courses people will love with Ruzuku. You can focus on creating inspiring content, promoting your course, and engaging your students and let the Ruzuku team manage the tech challenges. That’s right, they will handle the dreaded “I can’t log in to my course” email for you.
Udemy is one of the leading global marketplaces for learning and instruction. By connecting students all over the world to the best instructors, Udemy is helping individuals reach their goals and pursue their dreams. More than 130k courses and 40 million students.
Udemy helps organisations of all kinds prepare for the ever-evolving future of work. Their curated collection of top-rated business and technical courses gives companies, governments, and non-profits the power to develop in-house expertise and satisfy employees’ hunger for learning and development. Some of its key features:
- High-quality content alone isn’t sufficient. Udemy marketplace content model ensures that we always have the most recent and high-quality content that makes learning enjoyable. We’ll always have the latest skills on the most important topics your employees need to stay ahead of the curve.
- Personalised courses. Udemy sophisticated learning recommendations deepen skills and are personalized to drive employee engagement, creating a happier workforce.
A simple, yet powerful online course builder for WordPress to help you turn your knowledge into profits. Join over 20,000 people who have used WP Courseware to create and sell online courses with our simple drag and drop course builder for WordPress, robust course management functionality, and world-class support.
Note >> There one only one – by far – that I love using! Contact me and I will be happy to tell you. I can also train your team on how to best use it.
THINGS TO DO BEFORE SELLING YOUR ONLINE COURSE
Below are some simple yet powerful strategies, tips and insights on instructional design to build an engaging, diverse, inclusive and interactive online course.
Diversity is adding a mixture of similar and different elements into your online course and inclusion means fully respecting and involving all learners.
“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Albert Einstein
- Craft your welcome greeting. Confirm course learning objectives, what to expect and encourage them to test out the platform’s features. This can result in technical kinks being ironed out even before the session formally begins.
- Use Multiple formats. Offer elements of your online course in multiple formats: PowerPoint, an interactive PDF, a SCORM package or an interactive game.
- Use characters and stories to hold attention. Putting a face and a story to the lessons makes them more relatable. Relatability should also extend to assessments, for instance, incorporating real-world scenarios to show that what a student is learning will also be of practical use.
- Make videos informative and brief. If you record your own videos, make sure they’re informative and brief to hold your learners’ attention.
- Make your videos accessible by all. Use closed captions or a transcript for students with hearing issues.
- Reward small progress. Add badges students can unlock after certain achievements.
- Use a variety of visuals that reflect different students’ types. for example, a picture meant to illustrate students in a classroom could show one student in a wheelchair.
- Mobile design. In developing countries, it’s more common to find people using mobile phones to attend a class. Your online course content should be designed for smaller screens in mind – large chunks of text are broken into smaller bits, buttons, and links are properly resized, etc. Mobile-first also means designing for both dark and light mode. A possible design adjustment for this could be to add white borders around icons in a presentation. Although it makes no difference in light mode, it makes icons more visible in dark mode.
- Rehearse the flow of your live sessions. Make sure you don’t exceed your allotted time. Not only are excessively long presentations inconsiderate to the students, but it also becomes harder to keep their attention.
- Have an action plan in case your connection goes down. This could go from approaching a backup instructor who can take over, or giving students an activity to do. Maximising live class time lets students know there’s always something happening in these sessions and attending is always worth it.
Additional tips for your online course:
- Build empathy
- Encourage interaction
- Exhibit inclusive behaviour
- Reach out to colleagues and teach together
- Share knowledge, do research and have fun
To sum up, there’s no shortage of techniques that can make teaching your online course a more engaging and interactive experience. While learning is indeed serious business, there’s no reason fun and creativity should be left out – in fact, these are crucial components to learning itself.
Students will be at their best when they are given the right space and tools to succeed. With the tips provided above, creating that ideal online learning environment will be a lot easier.
Learn more about the TPER method when selling your online course.
- Traffic: Get the right people interested in your first online course by successfully nurturing your audience with key useful content and promoting it using different social media channels.
- Pre-sales: How to create and publish a high converting landing page.
- Scalable: Member zone. Record your content once and let it seen by thousands of people.
- Recurrent: Via Email Marketing.
Final tip: are you not hitting your sales targets or your ads are not performing? Get an expert marketer to support you the whole year and help you boost your sales today!
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Mau is a Senior Digital Marketing Specialist with 15+ years helping clients solve their digital marketing challenges. Mau is a certified Facebook & Adwords Professional, Certified SEO Consultant and industry speaker. Mau trains marketers via Strategy Workshops & Training Sessions inc his popular Digital Marketing Plan & Social Media Plan templates. Subscribe to Mau’s e-newsletter connect on LinkedIn Instagram Facebook