Let's assume that you've decided to create your next online course and are looking to choose the right platform. If you haven't read my 8 part series on online courses, you'd likely want to start there.
- Who should build an online course
- How do come up with an idea for your online course
- How to structure your online course
- All the pre-requisites before you launch
- How do you price your online course
- The gear for recording your online course
- Which approach is best for selling courses – evergreen or launch?
- Your onboarding emails
But if you've done all of that, then your next question is where to build / publish your next online course. So today let's look at 6 different platforms that are available to you.
The Six Platforms for your Next Online Course
The first three options are to use WordPress as the core of your platform. While WordPress isn't a learning platform, it supports three plugins that deliver all the online course features you could ever want.
The reason for using WordPress are multiple:
- Flexibility – You can do just about anything with WordPress.
- Ubiquity – WordPress is everywhere, so most products integrate with it.
- Inexpensive – Compared to other platforms, WordPress is inexpensive.
So here are three options that I would consider first before the rest.
Widely acknowledged, both inside the WordPress community and outside of it, as a leader in online learning, LearnDash is a feature-rich plugin for WordPress. What helps it stand apart from everyone else is the high focus it puts on learning.
When you want to build a serious course where you want focus mode to help your students make progress, this is the solution for you.
You won't find a more powerful platform for online courses and memberships for WordPress than AccessAlly. What helps it stand out from the rest is less about the actual online course, and far more about how you promote and sell it.
AccessAlly connects with almost any marketing automation platform, so you can add tags to your students based on progress, purchases or more. And that means you can trigger campaigns based on added or removed tags.
It allows you to create a ton of different offerings (price points, payment plans, etc) and add memberships that will allow you to bundle different courses together.
The third WordPress plugin that you should check out is LifterLMS – a plugin that works with tons of other WordPress plugins, and has an active and strong community behind it.
One of the best things about LifterLMS is that it has a free version. So you can check it out without buying a professional license. You'll need at least one payment gateway ($99) but other than that, you can get started at a very low price.
Three Other Platforms that aren't WordPress-based
While I recommend WordPress for a lot, there are certain situations where other platforms may make sense. Let's look at three of them.
Selling Digital Products / Memberships – Podia
If you're planning on building and selling digital products, memberships, downloads, and online courses, then you might want to check out Podia. The benefit of using this approach is that it also comes with email, chat, and webinars. They will tell you that they offer 5 tools for the price of 1 and they're not lying.
Courses & Automated Marketing – Kajabi
Another platform that you might want to check out is Kajabi. Like Podia, they offer a single platform for online courses, memberships, podcasts, and newsletters. Where they stand apart from most of the other platforms is their integrated CRM and the ability to send out campaigns.
Courses & Community – Mighty Networks
The sixth platform for your consideration is Mighty Networks. It stands apart from the rest because of its mobile app, and strong focus on community. At their larger plan, they also have support for live video cohorts – which is something most of the other platforms don't do as well.
It's Your Call
What I hope you see from this list is that you have a lot of options. The most important dynamic is figuring out what you care most about. Once you know that, you can check out each of these platforms to see which one is right for you.
Have a question about online courses? Hit me up.