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13 Top Course Creation Software To Try in 2024

13 Top Course Creation Software To Try in 2024

Looking for the right course creation software can be tricky. You want more than just the basics – you need something that brings your online courses to life. That's what this article is all about. 

This is especially true if you're thinking of starting an online business, but it's also crucial for educators, trainers, and organizations looking to provide top-notch online learning experiences. 

The software listed below offer unique interactive features, ways to track how well your courses are doing, tools to market your courses, and methods to keep your students hooked. 

We will guide you through these features and give you advice on how to make the most of each so you can create a successful online course.

Ready to get started?

13 Best Online Course Creation Software Options

As you explore online course software options, focus on finding a tool that aligns with your specific teaching goals and content style, whether for unlimited courses, individual courses, micro-courses, or training presentations.  

1. Thinkific

Thinkific is an ideal platform for anyone starting in online course creation or perhaps just looking to enhance their existing courses. It stands out for its ease of use and excellent customization options, catering to both beginners and experienced course creators.

Best Features

  • Advanced marketing tools: Equipped with sophisticated marketing tools, Thinkific helps you effectively promote your courses and engage your audience.
  • Extensive customization: The platform allows in-depth customization, particularly in its paid plans, allowing you to align your course with your unique brand identity.
  • Integration options: Thinkific hosts a wide range of integrations options to help you streamline your current business processes.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Intuitive and easy to navigate.
  • Thinific has been around for over a decade, so we appreciate the stability of the platform.

Cons:

  • Limited features in the free version.
  • Advanced marketing features are mainly available in higher-tier plans.

Pricing

  • Free plan available for starters.
  • Premium plans start from $39/month and offer more advanced features like custom domain support and detailed customization options.

Personal experience with Thinkific

Thinkific stands out for its overall user-friendliness and efficiency in course creation. The drag-and-drop course builder feature simplifies arranging course modules and adding diverse content types. Thinkific x Quaderno integration user sales tax integration have commented to our Support team that Thinkfic is “sturdy, easy to use, and offers a reasonable price for my business as it’s beginning to grow.” 

2. Teachable

Teachable is especially strong with its advanced analytics and sales features, perfect if you're keen on understanding your students' progress and maximizing course sales. Teachable go the extra mile when it comes to providing their customers with tips, information, and actionable guides to help the growth of their businesses. 

Best Features

  • Comprehensive marketing tools: Teachable provides a suite of marketing tools, including advanced email marketing, affiliate programs, and coupon creation, helping you promote your courses and increase enrollment.
  • Flexible payment options: The platform supports various payment gateways and offers flexible pricing models such as subscriptions, one-time payments, and course bundles, making it easier to sell your courses to a global audience. 

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Easy content hosting. One of the strongest USPs of Teachable is ease of use.
  • It’s designed for speed and efficiency, so if you want to get something up and running quickly, this is a solid contender. 

Cons:

  • The basic pricing plan comes with limited customization options.
  • The Basic plan has a 5% transaction fee. In addition, there are processing fees charged by payment processors like credit cards. This adds up quickly if you’re just starting out!

Pricing

  • Starts with a free plan, though it includes $1 + 10% transaction fees.
  • Premium plans begin at $29/month, unlocking greater features like advanced reporting and integrated email marketing.

Personal experience with Teachable

In an integration feedback report from our Support team, we saw that Quaderno x Teachable integration users really enjoyed the Community aspect of Teachable. They shared that having the ability to “foster a community within the platform made their growth possibilities even greater.” The one downfall that many users have shared with us is how steep transaction fees are.

3. Kajabi

Kajabi is not only about building courses; it integrates your course creation with marketing and customer management, making it a great fit for those who want a comprehensive, all-in-one solution.

Best Features

  • Powerful automation tools: Streamlines course management and improves student engagement through automated workflows and triggers. We’re obviously all about automation here at Quaderno, so building an integration with Kajabi was a no-brainer for us.
  • Extensive features: It's packed with features like integrated email marketing, website building, and a robust CRM, perfect for those who want more than just a basic course platform. If you have a longer-term and more holistic vision for the growth of your business, this would be a great option to consider.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Offers a high degree of customization, and they offer really user-friendly templates to help you get set up and running quickly.
  • You don’t need to code! This is especially powerful for any user who feels their tech savviness is a bit lacking.

Cons:

  • Pricier than some other platforms, and while the price includes a premium experience, it’s definitely not a platform for all levels of course creators.
  • Kajabi Payments has industry-standard processing fees in line with Stripe (2.9% + $0.30 per transaction) which is a big chunk of your sales, especially when you’re just getting started.

Pricing

  • Kajabi, with no free plan, starts at $149/month, reflecting its premium, all-in-one platform that provides extensive tools and features for online course creation and marketing.

Personal experience with Kajabi

Right off the bat, Quaderno x Kajabi integration users really appreciate the ability to create Certificates of Completion with Kajabi which automatically send upon completion of the course. One of our users shared with the Quaderno Support team that Kajabi is “of the most professional and comprehensive online course creation software on the market.”

4. Udemy

Udemy is a standout choice for those looking to tap into a vast audience without worrying about the upfront costs of course creation. It's particularly appealing if you're new to online teaching or want to reach a large number of students with minimal marketing effort.

Best Features

  • No Initial investment: You can create and host your courses for free, making it a budget-friendly option for new instructors.
  • Performance tracking tools: Udemy provides useful analytics to understand how your courses are performing, helping you to refine and improve your content.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Huge platform with a broad audience. It’s become a household name and instantly comes to mind when users are searching for a course creation software.
  • It’s a safe bet. You can almost guarantee you’ll make a sale on Udemy.

Cons:

  • Courses need to fit within Udemy’s structured format. There’s not a lot of flexibility or room for personal creativity
  • Revenue sharing means you'll share a portion of your sales with Udemy. The commission rate is extremely steep so you can kiss most of your money goodbye.

Pricing

  • Free for course creation, but they have a revenue-sharing model for course sales + an extra 30% to Google or Apple if that sale occurred on the Udemy Android or iOS apps. 

Personal experience with Udemy

Udemy is a world renowned platform. While Udemy is helping instructors fulfill their dreams to become educators fast, the revenue-sharing model is not something that will allow your income to grow at the same rate. It depends on your objectives as an instructor, but the commission fee is really high. We have users that have switched from Udemy to some of our other integrated online courses and membership platforms to avoid this fee.

5. LearnWorlds

LearnWorlds is especially suited for creators who are interested in investing a bit more time and resources to provide a highly interactive learning experience. Founded in 2014, LearnWorlds has quickly grown to be one of the most popular course creation software in the last decade due to its ease of use and great customer support.

Best Features

  • Focus on interactive content: LearnWorlds stands out with its strong emphasis on interactive learning, offering tools like quizzes, interactive videos, and more.
  • Customization options: The platform allows for considerable customization, particularly around interactive elements, helping you create unique and engaging courses.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Detailed analytics to gauge student engagement.
  • Top-tier support team who will really sit down with you and figure out the problem you’re experiencing.

Cons:

  • Slightly steeper learning curve due to advanced features.
  • If you want to avoid transaction fees, you must buy Pro Trainer or up ($79/month).

Pricing

  • LearnWorlds begins with a basic plan at $29/month, offering essential features, and then scales up to more advanced tiers with added functionalities like advanced analytics, interactive video capabilities, and comprehensive white-label options. This is ideal for just getting started and testing the waters.

Personal experience with LearnWorlds

The platform's tools for creating dynamic, interactive lessons have been a game-changer in how users approach online teaching. It's perfect for anyone looking to add an extra layer of interactivity to their courses. We have many Quaderno x LearnWorlds integration users, and the one benefit that users have commented time and time again is “the Support between Quaderno and LearnWorlds is unmatched”. A few of our users have raved about how they really work with them instead of just referring them to a support documentation page and wishing them good luck. 

6. Podia

Podia is a versatile choice for creators looking to offer more than just courses. It’s perfect if you’re into selling a range of digital products, from courses to eBooks, and even running membership sites. Its all-in-one functionality makes it a hit for creators seeking a multifaceted platform.

Best Features

  • Webinar hosting: Unique to Podia, this feature lets you engage with your audience through live sessions, enhancing the learning experience.
  • Versatile course and product hosting: Podia stands out with its ability to host not just courses, but a variety of digital products and membership programs.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • They offer built-in features like broadcasts and campaigns which can help you to save money on external email marketing tools.
  • After reading various reviews, most people take the plunge after they learn they don’t have to code to get a solid website up and running.

Cons:

  • Design options can be somewhat limited for more advanced users.
  • Might not have as in-depth analytics as some specialized course platforms

Pricing

  • It starts with a free trial and then offers a Mover Plan at $39/month, allowing you to create and sell online courses, offer digital downloads, and manage basic email marketing, perfect for beginners or small-scale creators.

Personal experience with Podia

It's like a Swiss Army knife for digital content – straightforward yet powerful, making it an excellent choice for creators who want to diversify their offerings without the hassle of using multiple platforms. We personally have a role to play when it comes to the added benefit on Podia of managing sales tax jurisdictions within the platform.

7. Ruzuku

Ruzuku is all about simplicity and ease of use, making it a fantastic option for beginners in the eLearning world. If you're looking for a straightforward, no-fuss platform to start creating and selling courses, Ruzuku could be the perfect fit. It’s known for its excellent customer support, which is a big plus for those just getting their feet wet in course creation.

Best Features

  • Top-notch customer support: Known for its exceptional customer support, Ruzuku provides personalized assistance, making it a reliable choice for newcomers.
  • Streamlined user experience: The platform offers a clean and straightforward user interface, ensuring that both course creators and students find it easy to navigate.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Simplified course creation process; straightforward, no frills.
  • To get started there’s a free plan where you can teach up to 5 students. It’s perfect for those who are wondering if online course creation is the path for them.

Cons:

  • May not be as suitable for more experienced creators looking for in-depth functionalities.
  • Less internal marketing tools at your disposal compared to other course creation software.

Pricing

  • Ruzuku starts with a basic plan at $99/month, providing essential course creation tools, and scales up to include advanced features like comprehensive analytics and marketing integrations for diverse user needs.

8. Coursera

Coursera is a unique platform known for its partnerships with top universities and institutions, offering a formal and academically rigorous course environment. It's ideal for educators and institutions looking to provide high-quality, accredited courses. 

If you're focused on delivering academic or professional development content with a stamp of educational excellence, Coursera is the platform for you.

Best Features

  • University partnerships: Coursera's collaboration with leading universities worldwide sets it apart, offering courses that often include certifications or even degree credits.
  • Academic credibility: Courses on Coursera are designed to meet high academic standards, which is great for educators looking to maintain a formal education structure.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Structured learning paths suitable for academic courses.
  • You can create actual professional certifications and even classes accredited towards degrees on the platform.

Cons:

  • More suited for formal education providers, not casual course creators.
  • To become a Coursera Partner, it has to be done through a university or accredited organization.

Pricing

  • Pricing varies depending on the course, with some free options and others leading to certifications or degrees at different cost levels. For access to Coursera Plus, the price would be $53/month, and you can cancel anytime.

Personal experience with Coursera

While we don’t have an integration with Coursera, nor feedback from users, we gave it a whirl ourselves and truly didn’t get very far. This is a platform that is quite targeted towards a professional environment, and so if you’re just starting out with course creation this isn’t a suitable option. We can recommend this platform honestly if you’re looking to acquire your own degree or certification, or perhaps if you’d like to make your class available online at an accredited university.

9. SkillShare

SkillShare is a vibrant platform tailored for creative, business, and tech enthusiasts. It's particularly well-suited for instructors who prefer a community-driven, project-based approach to teaching. If you enjoy creating courses that are more about 'doing' and less about lecturing and love engaging with a community of learners, SkillShare is a great match.

Best Features

  • Community-driven learning: SkillShare emphasizes learning by doing, with courses often centered around projects and community interaction.
  • Focus on creative skills: The platform is a haven for courses in creative arts, business, technology, and more, attracting a diverse and engaged audience.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • A vibrant community of learners and creators.
  • Unlimited access to a huge repository of online classes. 

Cons:

  • Earnings based on student watch time can be variable.
    • If you don’t qualify for at least 75 paid minutes you don't earn from the royalty pool which can put a lot of pressure on the teacher.
  • Your gross earnings as a teacher on SkillShare probably won’t pay your bills.

Pricing

  • SkillShare operates on a membership model, where students pay a subscription for access to all courses. It’s a bit convoluted, we’re not gonna lie, but after you finish up the free month trial, premium membership would cost you around $32 per month. The kicker for the trial is that you must add your credit card details, so make sure you’re tracking your free trial.

10. LMS By Google Classroom

Google Classroom is perfect for schools and colleges. It's super easy to set up and works seamlessly with other Google tools. It's pretty basic, so don't expect fancy features.

Best Features

  • Effective classroom management tools: It provides basic but effective tools for managing classes, distributing assignments, and communicating with students.
  • Seamless Google integration: It integrates flawlessly with Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and other Google apps, making document management and collaboration easy.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Free and easy to set up.
  • It’s perfect for academia, and perhaps even high school or elementary school teachers to upload classes or online homework, for example.

Cons:

  • Primarily geared towards academic institutions, not as suitable for corporate training or informal courses.
  • There’s not a lot to it. It’s not going to be a place where you’ll easily market or sell your online courses as an individual.

Pricing

  • Google Classroom is available for free as a part of Google Workspace for Education.

Personal experience with LMS by Google Classroom

Google Classroom makes managing classes super easy and efficient. Its simplicity and great integration with other Google tools have been a real help in streamlining my teaching process. It's a solid, fuss-free choice for anyone in education. We tried it out, and there’s really not much to it, honestly! You’re not going to be able to market your course with internal tools, and the courses are only accessible through a code generated when you make your course.

11. ConvertKit

ConvertKit stands out as a great option for online creators who want to grow their audience and make money from their work. It's the ideal platform if you're a blogger, course creator, or any online entrepreneur looking to expand your reach and connect effectively with your audience. 

Best Features

  • Email automation: ConvertKit offers robust email automation capabilities, allowing you to send targeted, personalized emails to your audience effortlessly.
  • Landing page creation: You can create attractive landing pages to capture leads, a crucial feature for growing your subscriber base and promoting your courses or content.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Excellent integration capabilities with other online tools.
  • ConvertKit is renowned for its email marketing automation capabilities, it really stands out amongst competitors. 

Cons:

  • Pricing can be higher than basic email marketing tools, given its advanced capabilities.
  • Forms and landing pages templates are lacking when it comes to creative control and modifications.

Pricing

  • Begins with a free plan for basic features, and its paid plans start at $29/month, providing advanced capabilities like automated email sequences, in-depth subscriber segmentation, and advanced reporting tools.

Personal experience with ConvertKit

ConvertKit is great for direct monetization and, when paired with Quaderno, simplifies sales tax compliance, making both marketing and financial management more efficient. Through Quaderno Connect, we provide sales tax automation for ConvertKit users, and thus, the feedback we’ve received about the platform has always been positive. As we mentioned before, the internal email marketing aspect of ConvertKit is really what helps their users sell and market their courses or products in the easiest way possible.

12. AccessAlly

AccessAlly is designed for those who need a robust, WordPress-integrated plugin for creating and managing membership sites and online courses. It's especially suitable if you're tech-savvy or have a WordPress site and are looking to provide a highly personalized learning experience. AccessAlly stands out for its deep integration capabilities and its focus on progress tracking and quizzes. They specialize in recurring memberships, one-time online courses or membership site payments, and free classes or challenges.

Best Features

  • Progress tracking and quizzes: Offers advanced features like progress tracking and interactive quizzes, enhancing the learning experience.
  • WordPress integration: Seamlessly integrates with WordPress, allowing for a smooth blend with your existing website and content management system.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • High level of customization for courses and membership content.
  • High level of customer service.

Cons:

  • Requires some technical know-how, particularly around WordPress.
  • May have a steeper learning curve compared to more straightforward platforms.

Pricing

  • AccessAlly starts with pricing plans at $82/month for basic membership site functionalities and scales up to include advanced automation and CRM integration capabilities, meeting a variety of needs and scales.

Personal experience with AccessAlly

AccessAlly’s combination of advanced features and WordPress integration has made it invaluable for crafting interactive eLearning experiences. While it demands a bit of technical know-how, the payoff in customization and seamless course management, especially with tools like Quaderno for financials, is well worth it. Our experience when working with AccessAlly has been extremely positive, with a super professional client engagement team who pay close attention to their users' problems.

13. Mighty Networks

Mighty Networks excels in creating vibrant online communities around courses and content. It’s ideal for you if you're not just interested in delivering courses but also in building an engaged community. Its standout feature is the ability to host courses, communities, and events all in one spot, making it a great platform for interactive and social learning.

Best Features

  • Event hosting: You can host live events, which is a fantastic way to engage with your audience in real-time and add value to your courses.
  • Community building tools: Mighty Networks offers robust tools for building and managing online communities, fostering a more interactive and engaged learning environment.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Good customization options to create a unique community or course experience.
  • Specialized in building memberships and communities at an affordable price - it really stands out amongst other platforms we’ve mentioned in this list.

Cons:

  • Learning curve in managing community features effectively.
  • Some users have found that the templates are a bit lacking.

Pricing

  • Mighty Networks begins with a basic plan at $33/month, suitable for starting communities, and offers more advanced plans that include extensive customization, analytics, and monetization features. The business plan is $99/month, which is also really quite affordable in comparison to other aforementioned software.

Personal experience with Mighty Networks

Mighty Networks is great for building a vibrant community around your courses. It seamlessly combines learning and community engagement. We can’t really say that another platform has such a focus on community monetization as Mighty Networks, all while offering an affordable price.

If you want an active community, event hosting, and streamlined financial management, it's a top choice. It also works well with our Quaderno integration for calculations, invoices, and reports with the correct sales tax, GST, and VAT amounts. But if you're solely focused on course creation, their community features might be more than you need.

5 Things To Consider When Choosing Online Course Creator Software

Look out for easy usability, flexibility (how much you can tweak it), and how it integrates with other software. As you review each online course platform, think about how each fits these criteria to find your perfect match.

The 5 things to consider when choosing online course creator software:

  1. Integrations
  2. Analytics
  3. Sales tax compliance
  4. Customization & branding
  5. User-friendliness

For a more comprehensive guide on creating online courses, check out this detailed resource: Create online courses. This guide can help you navigate the selection process with greater insight and confidence.

1. Integrations

When evaluating the integration capabilities of online course platforms, focus on how well they connect with other tools and services. These capabilities significantly affect your course's functionality and efficiency. Key considerations include:

Compatibility With Popular Tools

Check if the platform can seamlessly integrate with widely used marketing tools, payment gateways, and other educational resources. This compatibility extends the functionality of your courses and simplifies various processes.

Automation Of Processes

Look for how the platform can automate tasks. For example, if it can integrate with email marketing tools, it should be able to send out course materials and updates automatically. 

You can enhance this automation by using a professional business email for your communications, adding a layer of professionalism. You can set this up easily, as the Crocoblock guide shows, to complement your course platform's automated systems ideally.

This streamlined approach saves time and effort, allowing you to focus more on enriching your course content and engaging with students, thereby making course management more efficient.

2. Analytics

To determine the best analytics capabilities in online course platforms focus on how effectively the platform translates user data into actionable insights. The key is to find a system that tracks basic metrics like course completion rates and also delves into deeper engagement analytics. 

These detailed insights, like which course sections are most watched or frequently skipped, can reveal much about learner behavior and preferences, guiding you to optimize your course content for better engagement and learning outcomes. Consider the following aspects:

Engagement Metrics

These metrics, including time spent on online training courses and interactive videos, help understand what keeps learners interested and where they might lose interest. 

To identify tools with effective engagement metrics, prioritize those that offer a comprehensive range of indicators. Worthy tools should track detailed interactions, like time spent on each course section and user engagement with interactive elements or videos. 

They should also provide segmented data, breaking down the analytics by modules or topics, which helps pinpoint areas of high interest and those needing improvement. Look for platforms offering real-time analytics, as these allow for immediate insights and adjustments.

If you're still finding it hard to keep learners engaged, remember you can always make your course more interactive and easier to understand. For example, there this investment guide for ideas on making complex topics like finances interesting.

Feedback Analysis

Feedback from learners is a goldmine insight. You can actively collect this feedback through surveys or passively through discussion boards and Q&A sessions. Depending on your audience, the nature of feedback can vary significantly. 

For example, on platforms catering to graduates, feedback often focuses on how well courses align with job market demands and career development, guiding you to craft courses that are practically applicable and professionally enriching.

On the other hand, platforms serving hobbyists or leisure learners typically receive feedback emphasizing enjoyment, community engagement, and personal growth. This information is key to creating courses that are enjoyable and fulfilling at a personal level.

By actively analyzing this diverse feedback, you can adapt your courses to different learners' needs. Whether they're advancing careers or pursuing personal interests, this approach ensures your content is effective and engaging for all learner types.

3. Sales tax compliance

When assessing online course creation software, consider its sales tax compliance capabilities, especially if your courses target specific industries with unique legal and financial requirements. 

Ensuring that your course content and sales processes comply with relevant industry standards is crucial for legal and financial integrity. Choose software that supports these needs, ensuring both your course content and business operations align with industry-specific regulations.

Here’s how sales tax compliance capabilities in your course creation software can impact your operation:

Automated Tax Calculation

Look for software that can automatically calculate the correct amount of sales tax based on the learner's location. This is particularly vital for a global audience, given the varying tax laws and rates across different regions and countries.

Tax Law Updates

The software should be updated regularly to comply with the latest tax laws and regulations. This ensures that your courses are always in line with current legal requirements, saving you from potential legal issues or penalties. Having a tax compliance tool that monitors and registers tax updates automatically keeps you from guessing which state, country, or even county has updated their rates or thresholds. 

Imagine if, for example, a handful of states within the USA decided to change their tax thresholds and/or rates, and you weren’t properly tracking it. You’d still be producing outdated rates at checkout and on invoices, causing not only a headache for you, but for your clients, your accountant, and tax authorities as well 😰 By choosing a software that automatically creates updated, tax-compliant invoices for you every time, there’s no limit to how much time and stress you’ll save yourself.

4. Customization & Branding Options

When choosing an online course creator software, make sure the platform allows you to modify the user interface to match your brand's colors, logos, and overall aesthetics. This helps in creating a consistent brand experience across all touchpoints with your learners.

Also, check for tools that allow you to personalize course content, such as the ability to add custom images, videos, and interactive elements. This personalization enhances the learner's experience and reinforces your brand's presence within the course material.

5. User-friendliness

When evaluating the user-friendliness of online course creation platforms, prioritize the ease of use. This involves assessing its intuitive design and ease of course creation and management. 

Essentially, the software should feature a clean interface that simplifies navigation and reduces the learning curve for new users. This means menus, tools, and options should be logically organized and clearly labeled, making it easy for instructors to create and manage courses and for students to navigate through the learning material.

Additionally, managing courses, updating content, tracking progress, and communicating with students should be efficient and hassle-free.

Conclusion

Picking the right online course creation software is more about choosing a platform that truly boosts your teaching and connects better with your students. You want something easy to use, fits your needs now, and can grow with you. It should allow you to make adjustments to meet your student's needs and integrate seamlessly with other tools, such as email systems and CRM platforms.

Also, if you're teaching people from different places, dealing with sales tax can be tricky. That's where a tool like Quaderno comes in handy. It helps handle the tax, so you don't have to worry about it. 

Check out Quaderno for an automated way to manage taxes for your courses with a free 14-day trial, no credit card required. What are you waiting for?

Thanks to Burkhard Berger and our friends at Novum for the massive contributions made to this article!

Note: At Quaderno we love providing helpful information and best practices about taxes, but we are not certified tax advisors. For further help, or if you are ever in doubt, please consult a professional tax advisor or the tax authorities.