Top 5 Best Platforms To Publish and Sell Your Online Courses, Reviewed and Compared

Everyone has ideas they can share. Whether it's about how to successfully garden in an urban environment or tips on how to build a business from scratch.

The world is filled with opportunities for you to share your knowledge, regardless of where that knowledge comes from and whether or not you've ever taught a course in the past.

Far too often we hear people saying that they don't have anything to teach the world, but more often than not it's not true. And that's a shame because you can make lots of money from posting courses online and selling them to people who are interested. Heck, the average Udemy instructor brings in around $7,000, which is pretty solid when talking about passive income.

Those aren't even the top earners either. If you put in lots of work and generate courses that are of high value to your customers, you could potentially bring in six figures from your courses.

The only problem is that you need a platform for publishing and selling your online courses. Using Shopify with an app works well, but what about standalone platforms that are solely for selling online courses? Keep reading to learn about the top five options and who they are best suited for.

Academy of Mine

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Pricing: From $199 per month to $449 per month.

The Academy of Mine platform is one of our top choices when it comes to making your own online courses and selling them online. This is an all-in-one solution, meaning that it provides a full website for you to launch your brand and start selling courses online.

You can even choose from a fully hosted template that provides landing pages, galleries and course offering pages without making you set them up yourself. Academy of Mine is a solid choice since it's a complete course creation and learning management system. This means you can generate chapters or units, and give out timed quizzes, certificates, assignments and badges. In addition, a forum is included for chatting,

Accept credit cards and PayPal to sell your courses, and tap into the several marketing features like the affiliate program, email marketing and live webinar.

Who is This Online Course Platform Best For?

Since Academy of Mine offers a complete learning management system, it's tough to argue that anyone would be dissatisfied with it. Basically, if you'd like to sell videos, audio or text courses, all are possible. It's nice for those who want to sell memberships upfront, or for people who don't feel like using other marketing tools for connecting with customers and sending out emails. Pricing is a little high for this option, but the feature set is there to back it up. Overall, this is the best option for building a community around your courses, with the live chats, forums and marketing tools.

Ruzuku

ruzuku_2

Pricing: From $79 per month to $149 per month.

Ruzuku is another online course selling solution that's packed with features. To start, the course management is quick and easy, and just about any media file can be uploaded for selling to your customers. Help your students track their achievements throughout the course, and prompt them to chat with other students in the community.

Feel free to integrate with MailChimp, and watch as automated emails go out to notify people of upcoming courses. Along with Stripe and PayPal integration, the Ruzuku system has daily backups, teleconferencing and support options through things like the phone, email, live chat and social media.

Who is This Online Course Platform Best For?

Video, audio and PDF courses are all supported through the Ruzuku platform, and you can run webinars and engage with your customers through live chat. Ruzuku is a nice platform for both streaming and downloading content, and you can create memberships or send out drip content based on course timing.

Overall, I'd say that Ruzuku is best for people with limited technical knowledge, or those who just want to get up and running fast. Much of the platform looks similar to the WordPress backend, so it's pretty easy to use.

Try-Shopify

WizIQ

wiziq

Pricing: $83 per month. They have also have a free plan with a free trial.

The WizIQ system has some unique features because it provides two solutions, one called the online academy and the other called the virtual classroom. The online academy is more for posting videos and other files to sell. The students can follow along whenever they want and access tests, assessments and document sharing. Mobile learning is a huge plus, and the the course management includes an interactive white board for sharing with students.

On the other hand, the virtual classroom module works for video and audio calls, breakout rooms and polling. It's great if you want to chat with your students live, while also selling your content.

Who is This Online Course Platform Best For?

The standout part of WizIQ is that it provides a free plan, which is great for everyone. Not to mention, you receive tools for interacting with students in real time. Although it may seem more inconvenient, you can generally charge more money for courses where students are able to speak with the instructor on the phone or through a video call.

Teachable

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Pricing: From $29 per month to $299 per month. They also have a free plan.

Teachable is another favorite, since it was initially intended to address some of the problems people had seen with Udemy (below.) That said, Teachable has a stunning builder that's more focused on branding and uniqueness, as opposed to some of the more cookie cutter templates from places like Udemy.

Multi language support is a plus, and the integrated blog gives you a better chance of improving SEO. Quizzes and discussion forums help keep people around, and marketing tools are amazing, offering solutions for email marketing, coupons, landing pages, international payments and affiliate programs.

Who is This Online Course Platform Best For?

Teachable is mainly for those looking to get solid features for a low price. The monthly rates are the most reasonable on this list, and as you can see from the feature set, it's rather impressive.

All types of media are supported through Teachable, but we recommend this solution for those who want the ultimate marketing integrations. Marketing and analytics are extremely powerful, and you can also integration with systems like MailChimp, Ontraport, Infusionsoft, Mixpanel, and some other marketing tools through the Zapier app.

Udemy

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Pricing: Free (But you give up 50% of sales if Udemy brings in a student for you.)

Udemy is by far the most popular solution for building and selling courses online. It's been known to have mixed reviews online, but its network is unmatched for bringing in more students and boosting your sales. Building your course is all done in the Udemy dashboard, and when you're done, it gives you access to the millions of potential students in the Udemy community.

Process any type of credit card, but keep in mind that Udemy keeps 50% of your revenue when they help you promote the course to a student. However, if you bring in a student without the help of Udemy, 100% of the revenue goes to you.

Who is This Online Course Platform Best For?

I like this course for people who are nervous to create their own website, or for those who want to save some cash. After all, it is completely free upfront. Udemy has a main focus on selling video courses, but you do have the ability to upload other course materials like PDFs and audio. In my opinion, you're basically giving up a little control of your course to gain access to the giant community.

Final Thoughts

I would recommend checking out all of these tools to test them for your own needs. However, Teachable and Academy of Mine are by far my favorites, since they have tons of marketing tools. If you have any questions about the best platforms to publish and sell online courses, let me know in the comments section below.

Catalin Zorzini

I'm a web design blogger and started this project after spending a few weeks struggling to find out which is the best ecommerce platform for myself. Check out my current top 10 ecommerce site builders.

59 Responses

  1. This is the most helpful information I have found about eLearning platforms. Thank you!
    I am looking for a platform to sell online courses to business professionals. Only a small proportion (if any) of the content will be video. Ideally the platform will also host my website and enable me to sell other eCommerce products – business resources. Is there anything out there that can cope with all that??
    Any advice much appreciated!

  2. I want to know whether I can allow a student select course and pay to watch only one video one time or for one day online, by themself? The student can not download anything online.

  3. I’m looking for an LMS that allows me to sell to teachers. They would be able to let the students in their classroom use the lessons and I want the teachers to have access to their own students’ scores. I don’t need the teachers to be able to change or edit, just have access for their class and students. Is there a platform for that?

  4. I’ve been researching platforms and am a bit stuck on identifying a platform where I can sell my workshop to corporations via licenses. E.g. a company buys 20 or 50 licenses for a specific workshop, and I can sell multiple licenses to multiple corporations for the same workshop.
    If I could give free coupons via Udemy, I could invoice a client for 20 licenses and then provide 20 different Udemy coupon links to that client. But if I can’t give out coupons with a ‘free’ value, I can’t figure out how I can make licenses work on Udemy for corporate clients.
    Do you have any recommendations for a platform that would work with B2B licenses?
    Thanks!

  5. We use Academy of Mine for our courses (www.gravitasacademy.com.at). We’ve found the platform excellent – very easy to configure our courses, and the support and responsiveness from the Academy of Mine staff is exceptional.

  6. Hi,
    I am planning to sell video course on technical subjects: cloud, DevOps, Programming Languages and so on. It will mostly be video based and with a few PDF downloadable files. I am quite conversant with tech. I don’t want to go to Udemy since some courses like this already exists there and I want to build a brand of my own.

    I see that Teachable and AcademyOfMine are two options. I think both give you your own domain. (I need this feature). Which one do you think would be suitable for my needs?

    1. Hi, I would go with Teachable, they have better pricing, no limits on storage and bandwith usage, and they offer free hosting. Support for a custom domain is available for all plans.

      Both Teachable and Academy of Mine offer support for a custom domain, but you’ll have to purchase the domain separately.

      Cheers!

      Bogdan – Editor at Ecommerce-Platforms.com

  7. I have researched all of the ones on this list and none of them do what I want! Sigh. I have also looked at Academy of Mine and Learn Words.

    Here is what I need:
    1. Assignment submissions (my students need to be able to submit a design in PDF format and the course instructor approves the design before the course is marked complete).
    2. Automated Certifications upon course completion
    3. Unlimited students and instructors
    4. Ability for all instructors to manage their courses
    5. PayPal and stripe integration. I would settle for just PayPal integration.
    6. Payment plan, subscriptions, and single pay capabilities
    7. Discussion/Q&A with the capability for students using the discussion to include images/videos.
    8. unlimited file/video hosting
    9. advanced quiz capabilities (fill in the blank, paragraph, single line, multiple choice, etc etc)
    10. Landing and Lead page building
    11. A good email system that ties in the lead page. Email students of specific courses, etc etc.
    12. Zappier integration with lots of options
    13. A well-done affiliate program
    14. Rev-share with instructors and affiliates
    15. coupons, drip, upsell
    16. straight monthly fee, no additional charges
    17. Webinar integration (preferably zoom)

    If someone knows of a platform that offers that I am all ears but so far I cannot fine one.

  8. Really helpful article. I’m half way through completing a course that I’m creating. Do you think selling over a combination of platforms would be useful? The reason I ask is because I’m having difficulty in choosing between Udemy and Teachable, both of which I believe have their benefits. I also have a WordPress site which I’m thinking of integrating with Teachable – the options are giving me a bit of a headache!

    1. I think focusing on one platform would be the best way for starting out.

      Bogdan – Editor at Ecommerce-Platforms.com

  9. Hello, great advice thank you.
    However I’m a little overwelmed and could use some more insite if possible.
    The course that I would like to sell is based on a series of videos and instruction Manuel teaching kids a series of movements and dances. What would you suggest I use for this? And are there sites that don’t require monthly fees, only a commission of sales? Thanks so much.

  10. Great articles and some very insightful comments as well.
    However, I was wondering if any of these platforms allow for an instructor to review how far has a student progressed in terms of video watching or going through a course. I checked on the solutions highlighted above and none actually came close to giving an environment of monitored progress. Am I missing something here? I was hoping that someone who has done more analysis could help me here….

  11. (sorry for my broken english)
    I want video-lessons + videoconference, And, I think, the best option es “Academy of mine” but it is expensive. Then, i knew “ClassOnLive” but its interface is very poor.
    Could you recommend me others options??
    Or…Do you know if I can integrate “hangouts” with Thinkific or Teachable

  12. Hello!
    Thanks so much for your informative article. I do have a couple of questions. First, I assume the platforms you reviewed are quoting prices in US dollars. My second question has to do with security – if I decide to switch platforms sometime in the future, will I be able to move my course content or must it stay with the platform with which it was created?
    I look forward to hearing from you!

    1. Hi Joanne,

      Yes, the prices are in US dollars.

      Migrating to a new platform can be done quite easy in some cases or it can be a bit difficult, depending on the platform you are migrting to and the platform your website is currently built with. Big players like BigCommerce or Shopify offer tools and apps that can help you import your online store from other ecommerce platforms.

      Best,

      Bogdan – Editor at Ecommerce-Platforms.com

  13. thank you for the article, I was looking at teachable this morning, they are doing a big campaign, I want to really get into creating courses for women that have a magical flair, and want the right platform, and I am fair at technology.. i want to create an academy rather like a magic school like hogwarts, but for women and girls..what would you suggest

    1. Rhianne!
      What a fun idea about magic!

      From my research to date I like Teachable because there is more control; they offer free classes all the time (Thursdays?) where you can ask questions.

      Not crazy about Udemy because of lack of control and price setting and commissions if you’re looking to start a business.

      Kajabi is also great and has a higher cost per month though I believe currently does not charge fees for credit cards as Teachable does. When people pay via credit card, those fees can add up!

      Best of luck

  14. Hi, I run a small finance training institute. If one has to pick bewteen Teachable, Thinkific or Ruzuku, which one would you go for and why? Many thanks

  15. HI!
    I’m wanting to create courses that interact with the students – I would like the functionality to allow the following – the student to complete a questionnaire and then to deliver different targeted learning programs to different students as a result of the questionnaire answers with repeat reviews and if at all possible – trackable progress. Do you know quickly which program would allow this sorting of program delivery on the basis of initial and even recurrent assessments?
    Thank-you so much!

    1. Hi
      I am also looking for best solution to host live classes and want to manage student materials and performance and all in my control.

      Can we share the best solution till we have experienced today?

      Thanks and wait for your email response

  16. Hi I just wondered if you have any thoughts on Thinkific and their platform? I see this company in my social media feed often (I wonder if its new?)
    Thanks

  17. I jsut bought an WordPress template called LMS (yes) through Themeforest. Do you have any idea what the up- and downside are for creating a course on wordpress as opposed to one of the platforms?

    Thanks!

    1. I helped set up a demo training site on WordPress. The big difference to the packages above as you need to do a lot more work, using plugins and a little bit of coding, to configure your site. Udemy and Teachable, the two I know, are designed so that you just drop in your teaching materials and your course is set up, easily changeable.

      My suggestion would be to make a draft course on Udemy and use it as a design mock up.

    1. Hi Giilian, we haven’t got the chance to compare the two products nor to review Thinkific, will let you know ass soon as we have a review or comparison. Best of luck!

  18. Nice article! I have been comparing between Teachable and Teachery (you did not list it here) and it seems I would go for Teachable.

  19. I offer courses on my own website which doesn’t allow individual passwords. I’m using stripe, Vimeo pro and squarespace. Is there platform that would work with just the membership/password platform and squarespace?

  20. Great article Catalin! This is such a QUICKLY changing industry and your list is spot on. I know it’s helping many. High fives.

  21. Thanks for this article! I’m interested in knowing what platforms allow you to:
    1/ Keep customer data – ie allows you to ‘own’ the details of those who do your course, and
    2/ Allow you to offer a coupon-based course, allowing you to offer steep discounts (or free) to those you give the code to?

    1. http://www.udemy.com
      I have got 10 courses published on it. You can see who has enrolled and how is their progress. You can also create coupons with 50% discount max. Previously udemy was allowing to create coupon with 90% discount but now they have stopped.

    2. I know Ruzuku, Thinkific and Teachable allow ownership over student data and possibly a course coupon or discount option as well.

  22. Don’t bother with WizIQ. Save your money and save yourself the trouble. This is our first hand experience with them. During their demos, Wiziq showed fantastic performance however when they turned over the app after we paid, that was when we experienced it as slow and non-loading. Requesting payment refund from them is a pain. As customers, we’ve been sending requests for the past 2 years which they continuously ignore. After sending follow ups, they ask what the problem is over and over so you’ll get tired of forwarding the email thread to them. After all the effort and time we’ve wasted, they are now using their 2 year period policy to defend their refusal to refund even if several refund requests were made even before that period lapsed. WizIQ is a scam. Save your money and your time and just buy something else.

  23. Thanks so much for this article. You have no idea how helpful it is. Maybe you have a little insight on this. I live in Spain (but am American) so I’m completely torn on whether to start my first course in English or Spanish. I would assume the Spanish speaking market is far less saturated with content, but I also wonder if there are far less consumers of the content! If you have any knowledge on the subject, I would love to hear it! Thanks again for this amazing article!

    1. Sarah – I suggest that you do a simple test in each language to judge the demand for your course. You could put up a simple sign up page and then do some low cost advertising on Twtter or Facebook. This is all pretty simple to do, it is inexpensive and it shows you if there is interest in your course.

  24. Great information. I’m looking at both Teachable and Academy of Mine. I read that Academy of Mine has a steep learning curve. The post was written in 2013, is that still the case? Which do you highly recommend out of the two? I plan to create membership type courses.

    Thanks!
    Cheryl

  25. Hi, a very helpful review. I was looking at Teachable and I couldn’t find anyway to browse courses. Does this mean that Teachable only allows direct marketing? I’d like to browse to find out what else is in there and how much to charge for my course.

    Thanks,

    Michael

      1. Hey guys,

        You can check out the Examples section here to get a small idea about what else is there, but unfortunately there isn’t a directory available with all the courses hosted on the website.

        Hope this helps.

  26. Thanks for this. I am researching the options out there at the moment and seem to get a bit stuck on the marketing side of things. With Udemy it’s straight forward and you get your students in through their own platform. How about the others?

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