If you have online courses or your are planning on creating one, one of the first decision you need to make is where you are hosting your course. There are numerous options for you to start selling your online course. One of the first decision is if you are going to sell online course on your own websites or on a course marketplace such as Udemy. Or perhaps you sell on both, like I did for many years.
There is really no right or wrong answer here, but if you are a complete newbie to business and have no social following or email list, starting with a course marketplace might be right way to go – marketplaces have millions of visitors each month aka hundreds of thousands of potential buyers.
In this case you should upload intro or basic of your course to marketplace and then sell the complete course on your own website.
If you are already in business with steady following (100 targeted followers is enough!) you should definitely host on on your own website, but you could still upload intro/basic to course marketplace just to get extra traffic.
3 Platforms To Sell Online Courses from Your Own Website
Here’s list of online course platforms in no particular order – there are more of course, but these three are my favorite of all. I have personally tried and tested all and each have really great features for online course sellers.
All pricing below is for annual payment but monthly options are available for all.
I recently wrote an article where I list most popular online course marketplaces and platforms. Read it here.
Teachable is currently hosting over 20K courses for over 10K instructors, who have together earned over 50M over time. They have user-friendly interface that is easy and quick to use.
They also offer Teachable School which means your student can sign up for multiple Teachable Instructor schools with just one login. Saving yet another login details from students can help your sales – I mean who does want to remember yet another password?
They have some big names in their books like Pat Flynn, Shopify and the New York Times.
Slogan: “Your skills and experiences are unique and valuable. Easily build a beautiful course website, share your knowledge, and be rewarded for it”. I agree.
- one page, customizable check out (super important for sales!!)
- Focus on smooth design and great sales pages
Thinkific is a Canadian online course platform that has been around for years. They offer solid online course hosting and superb customer support. Their slogan is “The online course platform you can trust with your business”.
Their client list includes Hootsuite, Lewis Howes and many more big names.
I used to be also Thinkific Expert. I used to host my online courses on Thinkific (technically you still can purchase my courses on Thinkific, but I don’t link to my school anymore).
Why did I change?
For me deal breaker was lack of customization options for checkout. Yes I could have hired someone to customize it for my business but that would have just been a hassle.
This was also time before I was using dedicated shopping cart like Thrivecart (read my Thrivecart Review).
Other than that Thinkific is wonderful option who still today offer amazing customer service!
- Linkedin integration (fantastic if you are certification program)
- Really helpful customer support and active Facebook group
Podia is the new comer in the online course platform market. Do not let this status fool you though, they offer a solid platform to sell online courses. You can sell courses and any other type of digital product, book for example.
If you want simple course host for couple of courses/digital products I highly recommend Podia. Their storefront works so well for few products and presents really well.
Their support is responsive and they genuinely care about their customers. They also often feature their customer’s courses on their social media platforms!
Their slogan is: “Sell online courses and digital products from your own beautiful storefront in seconds.”
- Potentially all-in-one solution as includes emails and pages.
- You can sell courses and digital downloads
- Super responsive customer support
So what about my courses
So I guess you want to know where my courses are hosted now?
Reason is their checkout experience which is awesome, but if you want even further checkout customization I highly recommend Thrivecart, read my Thrivecart Review here.
I might think why should you even think about checkout experience?
That is where many conversions aka sales are lost. The easier (aka least clicks and forms to fill in) the checkout, the more money you make. You can read more about checkout abandonment and conversion rates here.
If I had to move online course platform right now I would choose Podia for sure. I just really like their user-interface, super smooth checkout popup and support I’ve received from them as a partner and course creator.
*Disclaimer: I am Affiliate Partner and a user/tester of above mentioned services – I only partner up with products that I’ve tested and tried myself. You pay nothing extra by clicking my links, but I am able to offer special offer only for my readers.*