18 Best Platforms for Selling Online Courses in 2024

May 7, 2024  
Reading time: 14 minutes

Establishing a digital home to sell classes online through a reputable online course platform is crucial for those who want to have success in this industry. Course marketplaces offer convenience and exposure. In contrast, using a white-label software to publish and sell courses from your own website can provide unparalleled control over your brand, content, and revenue streams. If you are in search of the best platforms for selling online courses, we have curated a list of 18 top solutions to do so. Check them out! 

I. Course Marketplace vs. Online Course Publishing Software

Platforms for online courses fall into two main categories: course marketplaces and online course publishing software. Let’s explore their similarities and differences.

A. Course Marketplaces: key platforms to sell online courses indirectly

A course marketplace is a type of website that features courses in a shared online catalog. The advantage here is access to an existing student base, which makes them the best platforms for selling online courses for those starting in this field or with a limited online presence. 

The main disadvantage is the lack of control over leads, who are exposed to all courses available on the website from all registered instructors. Moreover, they offer few branding and personalization options, such as landing page design and email content. 

Most online course marketplaces allow free course publishing, but take a large portion of sales as fees. This could become problematic when you are attempting to scale. You will need to take this into account when accessing if a course marketplace is the best online platform to sell courses in your current scenario. 

B. Publishing Software: best platforms for selling online courses directly

In contrast, white-label software does not offer a marketplace for you to publish courses online. However, this category of online course platform allows you to install their software into your own website or mobile app, creating an exclusive course catalog for your business. This means that you will be responsible for all the marketing efforts in order to bring leads to your website. However, you don’t need to share leads, keeping all contacts to yourself. 

Usually, these online training platforms provide extensive customization, including branded landing pages and personalized communications. Moreover, they often integrate with other tech tools, increasing their potential and, consequently, your team’s productivity. 

Typically, these types of training management software are sold as a service, where the developer charges a fixed monthly subscription fee, sometimes with an added transaction fee. As most SaaS providers offer multiple subscription plan tiers, you have the option to begin with a free or simpler plan, and then upgrade as your business expands. This proves advantageous when attempting to scale. Therefore, if scaling is your plan, they can be the best platforms for selling online courses.

close up of woman exploring an online education course on a tablet.

II. The 18 Best Platforms to Sell Online Courses

See below our list of the 18 best platforms to sell courses online:

  1. Timely: (software) All-in-one solution to promote and sell courses on your website.
  2. Udemy: (marketplace) A marketplace for online courses with a wide reach.
  3. Skillshare: (marketplace) A community-based platform for creatives.
  4. LearnWorlds: (software) Focuses on interactive and engaging course content.
  5. Podia: (software) A versatile platform for selling courses and memberships.
  6. Mighty Networks: (software) A course and community platform. 
  7. Learndash: (software) A WordPress plugin for creating and selling courses.
  8. LinkedIn Learning: (marketplace) Professional development top-quality courses.
  9. Domestika: (marketplace) Creative and artistic skills online course platform.
  10. PluralSight: (marketplace) IT and software development learning hub.
  11. Udacity: (marketplace) Tech and career-focused online courses.
  12. Teachable: (software) User-friendly interface and customization options.
  13. Thinkific: (software) Offers tools to create, market, and sell online courses.
  14. Kajabi: (software) A broad online course platform for creation and marketing.
  15. CyberU: (marketplace) Cybersecurity and IT training marketplace.
  16. Alison: (marketplace) Free online education with certificate options.
  17. Fiverr: (marketplace) Online course platform catering towards diverse segments.
  18. Arlo: (software) Course management and event registration software.

The suitability of these platforms depends on several factors, including the type of courses you offer, your budget, and your marketing strategy. It's essential to consider each platform's features, pricing, and user reviews to find the best fit for your online course business in 2024. Let's dive into the details so you can decide between the best platforms for selling online courses.

young female leading an online course through one of the best platforms for selling online courses.

1. Timely

Timely LMS for training is an indispensable solution for training providers, offering a comprehensive set of features that streamline and enhance every facet of course management.This online training software provides a versatile online course platform where training providers can efficiently organize their offerings.

One of its standout features is its custom course calendar, which simplifies course publishing and scheduling and helps providers and students stay organized. Additionally, Timely excels in course promotion, offering built-in integrations that automate content distribution through email newsletters and social media posts.

For administrative tasks, Timely offers a form builder for creating user-friendly registration forms and facilitates online registration, making it easy for prospective learners to enroll. The platform also supports online payments and includes billing and invoicing capabilities for financial transaction management. When selling classes online, providers can offer discounts and manage coupons to attract a broader audience.

Timely's robust feature set extends to waitlist management, enabling providers to queue up interested students when courses reach capacity. It also automates confirmation and reminder notifications to reduce no-shows and manage cancellations and refunds efficiently. Lastly, Timely tracks check-in and attendance, ensuring accurate records and enhancing the overall course management experience. 

In essence, Timely equips training providers with the tools they need to deliver exceptional training experiences while optimizing their administrative efficiency. The result is more satisfied students, improved operational effectiveness, and a thriving training business.

Timely pricing: Timely offers a free plan, with basic course publishing and promotion features. For additional functionality, Timely offers optional add-ons, including online registration and ticketing, to enhance the user experience. Furthermore, premium plan choices are available, each tailored to meet specific requirements and preferences.

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2. Udemy

Udemy, a leading online course marketplace, and one of the best websites to sell online courses, boasts over 50 million students and nearly 75,000 instructors. To become an instructor, you need to apply and, once approved, follow straightforward steps to create your course, including 30 minutes of video content and five lectures.

Udemy's online course platform provides extensive support, including feedback on video quality and equipment suggestions. Their Teaching Center offers valuable course creation tips. Plus, they offer optional marketing programs like email features and site-wide promotions, with revenue sharing.

Their marketplace insights help you choose the right course topic and understand the competition, akin to Google Analytics. 

Udemy pricing: Udemy charges 3% revenue share on sales via instructor coupons and 63% on other sales, not including processing fees. 

3. Skillshare

If you're an entrepreneur, designer, writer, photographer, or blogger eager to share your creative skills online, Skillshare is an ideal platform for online courses. It offers a vast range of courses, spanning from popular to niche subjects like marketing, photography, cooking, doodling, and more.

Skillshare's online course platform operates on a membership model for students, providing access to its library of 35,000 premium courses. For creators, signing up and publishing courses is free, but to earn, your course must be part of Skillshare's premium catalog.

Courses on Skillshare follow a structured format, featuring 20-60 minute video lessons, practical projects, and a community discussion section. Rather than focusing solely on final outcomes, Skillshare encourages students to share their progress, receive feedback, and refine their work—a perfect approach for creative subjects.

Skillshare pricing: Free for creating a premium class. Instructors receive compensation, including $10 for referring premium memberships and monthly royalties based on the minutes students spend watching premium classes.

someone holding a smartphone browsing through online education.

4. LearnWorlds

LearnWorlds is a versatile online course platform accessible via the standard web, Android, and iOS devices, making it convenient for both educators and learners. With LearnWorlds, you have the power to craft a wide range of courses, and for those looking to take their branding to the next level, there's the option to create a personalized app tailored to your school, course programs, and more.

One of the standout features of LearnWorlds is its robust editing toolkit, enabling instructors to craft engaging and informative courses with ease. These editing tools provide the means to create an immersive learning experience that captivates and educates students effectively.

Additionally, LearnWorlds offers discussion forums that serve as a virtual meeting place for students. These forums facilitate meaningful interactions and foster a sense of community, allowing students to connect, share insights, and learn collaboratively.

LearnWorlds doesn't stop there; it places a strong emphasis on enhancing the student experience. Through student profiles, learners can create connections with fellow students, making it easier to network, collaborate, and share their learning journey.

Moreover, the platform offers the convenience of coupons, providing instructors with a flexible way to promote their courses and engage with their audience. This feature allows you to implement targeted promotions and discounts, thereby enhancing your course marketing strategies.

LearnWorlds pricing: Starts at $24/month, plus $5 per couse sale.

5. Podia

Podia streamlines your digital content business by offering a unified platform for online courses, downloads, coaching, and memberships. Its user-friendly storefront template ensures consistency, featuring landing pages with overviews, content details, FAQs, and creator bios for each offering.

Whether you're ready to publish or prefer pre-launching to collect emails, Podia accommodates course creators. Additionally, you can sell supplementary resources like cheat sheets, eBooks, videos, and more as digital downloads, with the option to bundle them.

Avoid the unpredictability of external platforms by building your private membership site on Podia. Customize membership plans, perks, and content to foster your community. Keep members informed, share updates, and watch your online business thrive.

Podia pricing: Starting at $33/month for the Mover plan with email marketing, and no transaction fees.

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6. Mighty Networks

Mighty Networks is your solution for building a dynamic, paid community around your online courses. It focuses on community-building, incorporating paid groups, events, and courses into its platform.

You have the flexibility to sell individual courses, community memberships, or bundled combinations. Membership pricing options include one-time payments or subscriptions, with customizable pricing for each. Courses can be offered separately or as a perk to paying members.

Each course features an integrated Activity Feed that fosters engagement and interaction among members as they progress through the course. Members can share various content types, from text posts to images and links. As an instructor, you can drive discussions with designated topics and even organize live events, both online and in-person. Icebreaker questions and polls are available to initiate interactions and gather feedback.

Notably, Mighty Networks online course platform offers a unique feature that allows instructors to customize the terminology used within their community, such as changing "table of contents" to "syllabus" or "instructor" to a preferred title like "professor" or "teacher." Mighty Networks empowers instructors to create a vibrant, branded, and engaging community around their courses.

Mighty Networks pricing: Plans including online courses start at $41/month.

7. Learndash

LearnDash is a popular choice for course creators, trusted by prestigious universities and Fortune 500 companies. Also, it provides an easy-to-use course builder and an integrated eCommerce platform for selling classes online. Furthermore, LearnDash supports multimedia content and offers expert consulting assistance, making it a versatile solution for creating and managing online courses.

Furthermore, LearnDash is a platform for online courses that embraces the multimedia-rich nature of modern education. It offers comprehensive multimedia support, allowing you to incorporate a wide range of content formats, from videos and audio to interactive quizzes and assignments. This versatility empowers you to create courses that cater to different learning preferences, enhancing the overall learning experience.

Learndash pricing: Starting from $199/year, for unlimited users

a professional, drinking coffee and browsing on his laptop for the best platforms to sell online courses.

8. LinkedIn Learning 

For those deeply committed to creating business courses, LinkedIn stands as an unrivaled platform, boasting a vast audience that comprises nearly all professionals within your specific niche.

LinkedIn recognized the need to facilitate their users in acquiring essential training and credentials, leading to the inception of a dedicated online course platform. Previously known as Lynda.com, this platform underwent a transformation following its acquisition by LinkedIn, now bearing the name LinkedIn Learning.

To become an instructor on LinkedIn, experts may receive occasional invitations, but you can also proactively submit an instructor application form. If you meet the qualifications, they will contact you.

LinkedIn Learning pricing: The online course platform compensates instructors through royalties. 

9. Domestika 

Domestika emerges as a thriving online community catering to creatives. Also, it doubles as an online course marketplace spanning diverse categories like design, writing, illustration, and more. For creators specializing in these creative niches, Domestika presents a promising platform for launching and one of the best websites to sell online courses.

Domestika stands out as an appealing platform, particularly for novice course creators, given its relative newness in the online education landscape. Initially rooted in Spain, Domestika primarily featured courses in the Spanish language. However, it has now embarked on a transformation, translating courses into English. This expansion opens doors for creators capable of delivering valuable content in English, setting them apart in this evolving marketplace.

Furthermore, an enticing facet of Domestika's online course platform is its non-exclusive approach, permitting instructors to simultaneously offer their courses on platforms like Skillshare, creating additional income streams.

To apply as a Domestika teacher, you can submit your application here. You'll need to provide a compelling proposal featuring unique online course ideas. Once your proposal has been reviewed, they will get in touch with you.

Domestika pricing: Your income will be contingent upon the sales of your courses. 

10. PluralSight 

PluralSight emerges as an excellent platform for course publication if you manage to navigate the rigorous approval process. Here, you have the opportunity to create courses, assessments, and labs, providing multiple avenues to generate income. Additionally, one notable advantage is the robust teacher community within PluralSight, where experienced authors extend their guidance to new instructors throughout the process. 

It's vital to acknowledge that PluralSight operates on an invitation-only basis, resulting in a high entry barrier. Moreover, the courses you publish on PluralSight will remain exclusive to the platform. Therefore, generating a full-time income solely from platform royalties may prove challenging. Instead, view this as a remarkable professional opportunity to gain exposure to a multitude of companies, potentially leading to consulting engagements.

To become an author on Pluralsight, you'll need to apply, and their instructor support team will assist you in the process.While choosig the best platforms for selling online courses for you, it's worth noting that Pluralsight tends to favor established course creators or well-known authors. Therefore, making it a more competitive platform for instructor opportunities compared to other marketplaces like Udemy.

PluralSight pricing: At the PluralSight online course platform your earnings will be determined by the viewership of the courses you develop. 

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11. Udacity 

Udacity is a distinguished platform renowned for its expansive student base of 120 million, solidifying its credibility in the online education arena. Instructors on Udacity garner recognition as industry experts who educate professionals from leading Fortune 500 companies.

However, akin to PluralSight and LinkedIn Learning, Udacity's invitation-only model presents a formidable obstacle to becoming an instructor, particularly for newcomers in the field.

If you're interested in becoming an instructor or mentor at Udacity online course platform, be aware that their selection process can be challenging. Since, they seek highly qualified professionals with the requisite skills and expertise, making it a competitive opportunity not suitable for everyone.

Udacity pricing: There is a significant income potential for instructors, with average annual earnings ranging from $5,000 to $10,000. 

12. Teachable

Teachable empowers course creators by offering customizable course-building options, from website design to sales page creation. Furthermore, you can easily upload content from platforms like Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive.

Pricing your courses is flexible, with options for one-time fees, payment plans, or subscriptions, and you can even create coupon codes for promotional purposes. Also, Teachable online course platform simplifies affiliate marketing by providing an integrated solution, eliminating the need for third-party tools.

With Teachable's native email marketing tool, you can efficiently communicate with students based on their course activity. Collecting feedback and insights through Google Forms and surveys is also a breeze. Additionally, you can integrate Teachable with your email list to maintain contact with students after they complete their courses.

Teachable pricing: Teachable offers a Free plan with unlimited students and courses, plus a $1 + 10% transaction fee. Paid plans begin at $39/month for the Basic plan, featuring custom domains, email marketing, coupon codes, drip content, and a 5% transaction fee.

13. Thinkific

Thinkific simplifies the process of creating online courses with its user-friendly templates. Divide course creation in two parts: course material and landing page. Select from templates like pre-sell, mini-course, flagship course, membership resource library, or webinar replay, each offering helpful prompts for content creation, including video lessons, quizzes, downloads, surveys, and instructor messages. Also, you can customize these templates or use them as-is.

Choose your pages, add content, select a theme, and you're set. Additionally, if you want to showcase testimonials, Thinkific allows you to collect and display student reviews seamlessly on your landing page by enabling student reviews for your course. Thinkific is designed to make course creation straightforward and efficient.

Thinkific pricing: Free for the first course with unlimited students, full eCommerce, and zero transaction fees; from $36/month for the Basic plan, which offers unlimited courses and students, drip content and a custom domain.

14. Kajabi

Kajabi empowers course creators with potent marketing tools. Its pre-built marketing funnels, known as blueprints, streamline the creation of comprehensive marketing strategies. Furthermore, when evaluating which are the best platforms for selling online courses, it is important to note, it encompasses everything from landing pages and opt-ins to email sequences and course checkouts.

For example, the freebie funnel consists of three stages: a landing page for email collection, a freebie email sequence to thank and upsell, and a thank-you page for purchasers. Kajabi also offers options for managing collected emails, including adding them to sequences, sending special offers, or expressing gratitude post-purchase. All facilitated by diverse page templates.

If you prefer custom automations, Kajabi's online course platform provides a range of if-then scenarios. These allow you to trigger actions based on student activity, such as completing assessments, filling forms, canceling subscriptions, or inactivity. With email central to its features, Kajabi's native email provider additionally offers insights into email open rates. In essence, Kajabi equips course creators with a powerful marketing toolkit for efficient and effective course promotion.

Kajabi pricing: Starting at $119/month for the Basic plan for one site with 3 products, 3 pipelines, and unlimited marketing emails and landing pages.

a close shot of a smartphone on a table next to a notebook and a yellow pencil.

CyberU is a recent entrant in the online course marketplace, offering a versatile approach to course creation. It spans multiple niches, but places a distinct focus on domains such as business, workplace, leadership, and office productivity. All aimed at enhancing the skills of corporate workforces.

The revenue potential is currently in its early stages, as the marketplace is still relatively new. You can apply as an instructor on this platform, and the acceptance process is generally straightforward, provided that your course idea is distinctive.

CyberU pricing: CyberU operates on an individual course sales revenue model, with course prices ranging from $10 to $40. 

16. Alison 

Alison is an online course marketplace offering certificates and diplomas, along with functioning as a career guidance resource. The majority of its courses are available to students for free, primarily funded through advertising.

However, it can be challenging to gain entry due to the high volume of applications they receive. The good news is that they do accept and provide training to individuals interested in becoming certified Alison publishers.

Alison pricing: The potential revenue can reach up to €50 per day, which can be quite promising. 

17. Fiverr 

Fiverr, renowned for connecting service sellers and buyers, is also a viable platform for selling online courses. A compelling reason to consider Fiverr whe evaluating the best platforms for selling online courses, is its substantial user base, attracting 4.1 million monthly visitors.

Online courses with a focus on business-related topics tend to perform well on Fiverr, as the platform predominantly caters to entrepreneurs and service providers keen on enhancing their skill sets. So, if this is your niche, Fiverr might be one of the best websites to sell online courses in your case.

Fiverr serves as a dependable option for selling courses in niches such as business, marketing, and website development. However, it may not be the primary choice for these niches, as other platforms like Udemy or Udacity have larger audiences. In such cases, Fiverr can function as a supplementary source of income.

Fiverr pricing: Fiverr's online course platform applies a 20% commission on each course sale, which is consistent with practices in other marketplaces.

18. Arlo 

Arlo software is a versatile platform designed for course management and event registration. While it primarily excels in organizing events, it also offers capabilities for creating and selling online courses. Arlo stands out as a comprehensive solution, combining event planning and course delivery within a single platform.

Arlo pricing: Arlo's online course platform operates on a subscription-based revenue model, with pricing based on the specific requirements of each organization or business. Costs can vary widely based on factors such as the scale of usage, the number of events, and course offerings.

a laptop keyboard of a keyboard lighting up with focus on one specific key that reads "online courses".

III. How To Choose The Best Platforms for Selling Online Courses

Selecting the right online course platform or mix of platforms is pivotal to achieving your teaching, audience growth, or income goals. Furthermore, it involves evaluating various critical factors. 

Start by assessing your course content and ensuring it aligns with the platform's capabilities, including multimedia support and assessment tools. Also, prioritize ease of use, customization options, and versatile pricing models. Next, scalability, integrated marketing features, robust analytics, and data security are all essential considerations. Additionally, explore support resources, integrations, and mobile-friendliness. 

If you're testing the waters, begin with a course marketplace, and once you've validated your content, transition to your course website using an online course publishing software. Most platforms for online courses support content migration, simplifying the transition process.

Ultimately, the best platforms for selling online courses should streamline content delivery, allowing you to focus on the course itself rather than the logistics of reaching your audience.

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