Facebook Pixel
Menu
Platforms / Tools

The best online course creation platforms for starters

The best course creation platforms for starters

How to choose the best fit platform for your course creation? Here’s a comparison of the best online course platforms for starters!

 

>> To get a more in-depth review, make sure to get this FREE review of the most popular course platforms.

Course Platform Guide: free online course platform guide for online coaches

If you are ready to level-up your business with online course creation, choosing a platform you’re comfortable working with can make or break your online course creation experience.

And that’s really the key here – to choose a platform YOU’RE COMFORTABLE WORKING WITH. See what I did there?!

Everyone has their own preferences. Some will like minimal, clear platforms with simple features. Others will want more in-depth creative solutions and will embrace the learning curve if needed. We all have our own!

But I’m here to give you a comparison of the best online course platforms for starters so you have something to consider.

 

What does a course creation platform do?!

Course creation platforms provide you with the necessary tools to publish and sell your online courses.

Once you have your content ready and your course good to go – that’s when the course platforms come in.

Most of these platforms have rather similar features. You can:

  • Upload your content
  • Create/design Sales pages
  • Integrate payment getaways (connect with Stripe, PayPal etc.)
  • Gather student info like email, signup date, etc.
  • Manage your students, their course access, payment plans

Disclaimer: This blog post includes affiliate links! If you make a purchase using one of the provided links, I’ll receive a commission from the purchase. If you do – THANK YOU. Your support keeps this blog going! 

The best online course creation platforms for starters

 

Comparison of the best online course platforms for starters

I’ve tried and tested plenty of different course creation platforms over years. While Teachable was my long-term favorite, now the tables have shifted quite a lot and there are just SO MANY great platforms out there.

Below you will find some of the easy-to-start-with options, as well as some more complex solutions for your courses or products.

>> To get a more in-depth review, make sure to get this FREE review of the most popular course platforms.

Payhip

Payhip is a platform that offers you to sell digital products online, from online courses and memberships to online coaching sessions AND MORE.

The best part? They have a forever-free plan! It comes with a 5% fee from every purchase made but it comes in handy if you want to start budget-friendly.

Payhip provides you with an option to set up landing pages and digital product store, along with having affiliates and referrals for your products, and more.

It doesn’t have a built-in email marketing or funnel feature but you can easily connect the platform with most of the available email marketing softwares.

Learn more about Payhip in this Payhip review for online coaches! 

Thinkific

Thinkific is one of my current favorite platforms. It’s a well-established course platform with a great community feature available as well.

The biggest bonus of Thinkific is that they have a free plan AND ZERO FEES on all of their plans (yes, the free one as well!)

Overall Thinkific will provide you all of the key elements to setting up and selling an online course. They also have several landing page templates you can get started with that make the setup experience a lot more fun.

The paid plans start at $49/monthly, however, note that the lowest tier DOES NOT include payment plan options and membership feature (you can still have the community space but you can not sell it as a subcription-based offer).

Teachable vs Thinkific which course platform to choose

Podia

Podia is one of the easiest to manage and most straightforward platforms.

Without any complicated mazes of backend funnels, Podia really makes it easy to get started with your online business setup.

The best part? You can create a website, host a course and have a community space ALL. FOR. FREE.

Yes, there is an 8% transaction fee but once you start making money, you can upgrade and pay zero fees. Plus, their paid plans start at $39 so that’s quite a great deal!

Teachable

Teachable is cost-effective, easy to use and with a great offer! It’s not too complicated for starters but it isn’t “cheap-looking” either. Besides that, they have an amazing team that is always working on additional updates.

And – great news – their free plan is BACK! But note that the free plan is VERY limited – you can have only up to 10 students in your offer. Hence, I’d choose Thinkific instead.

Another major plus these days is that they’ve also added a coaching feature – you can now sell your digital products, along with your coaching offers, all on one platform. So if you’re a coach looking into course creation, this might be the perfect fit for you!

I was using Teachable for 7 years and it was my first course creation platform as well. However, as you’ll often see, these days I’m more keen to suggest going for Thinkific instead.

While you absolutely can start selling for free, their upgrades start from $59/monthly which is quite pricey for the value they offer.

Searchie

Here’s a name that’s not all that known in the course creator community. Mostly because Searchie is more focused on membership hubs and spaces for coaches to support their students instead of courses per se BUT it’s one of the most sleek-looking platforms out there and I truly love their setup.

Investment-wise, they offer the least for their low-priced plans and they don’t have a free plan to use.

There are also some limitations when it comes to content upload: you can upload only a specific number of hours of video content/per month (based on your plan).

But, again, if you’re searching for a more modern platform and potentially want to include member space as well, this might be it!

Circle

Circle.so is a community-focused space that has just recently added features like Courses and Lives (available for their $99/monthly plan).

While Circle’s offer is on the higher end, if your focus is a COMMUNITY, this might be the best place to be!

Their interface is really enjoyable and while the setup itself is rather simple, there are plenty of creative ways to organize and lay out your content.

I have also made the move for Course Creator Hub from Teachable to Circle because of this aspect and it has been a great shift.

Kajabi

Kajabi wouldn’t generally be considered as the option for starters but if you’re looking forward to having an all-in-one business platform, this might be it!

Kajabi offers it all: website creation, storing and selling online courses, e-books and other digital products, creating email marketing funnels and way beyond.

However, it can be quite overwhelming for a starter and generally their offer is not worth it UNLESS you truly use most of the offered features.

Therefore, if online course creation is going to be your focus, make sure to consider another platform instead to save yourself some time and sanity.

They offer a 14-day free trial and from there it’s starting from $119/monthly.

 

How to know which platform will be the best choice for you?

The truth is, most people go with what they feel will be the best. So let your intuition lead the way! And you can always switch it up along the way.

  • Thinkific is one of my top suggestions. It’s easy to use and provides plenty of great features for a reasonable price. If you’re focusing on creating a course – this will be a great go-to. Even more so if you want to combine your course with a community space.
  • If you are looking forward to selling more than just courses and want to keep it simple for now, definitely give some consideration to Payhip.
  • But if you’re ready to dive head-first and you don’t have a website or email marketing system just yet, Kajabi could be the best choice for you.

This comparison of the best online course platforms for starters was just a quick insight into some of the most popular options but there is a sea of other variations out there if none of these feel like a good fit for you.

My general suggestion would be to NOT OVERTHINK IT and get started. At the end of the day, you can learn how to manage any of these platforms!

 

Get more insights and inspiration @coursecreationlab on Instagram and TikTok.

Learn to plan, create & scale your online course in Savvy Offer Hub.