So you’ve decided to launch an online course. Congratulations! You’re about to jump into an industry that is projected to grow to $325 billion by 2025! Yes, that’s billion with a B!
You know your audience, you’ve decided what you want to teach them, but now the big question is where to host your course? With so many learning management solutions (LMS) available in the market, it can be a little overwhelming to know which platform is best. So let’s dive in and take a look at the best websites to host your online course.
But first, let’s start with the basics. What exactly is an LMS? A learning management solution, LMS, is just that — a software solution that is used to administer, track, report and deliver your online course.
What Features to Look For In An LMS
No matter what kind of online course you plan on offering, here’s a quick checklist of important features to look for when choosing your ideal LMS:
- CRM/Autoresponder Integrations: Make sure your LMS has the ability to integrate with your CRM and process automation tools like Drip, Infusionsoft, MailChimp, etc. to track and manage your organization’s communication with current and potential customers.
- Payment Processor Integrations: While there are many LMS options out there, not all are meant to sell courses. So it’s important to find a tool that integrates with payment processors like Stripe, PayPal, Ontraport, etc.
- Split Testing Functionality: When your main business is providing eLearning courses for people to benefit from, it’s important to have data to measure effectiveness and see what you can improve. An LMS that allows for split testing (otherwise known as a/b testing) makes that possible and more engaging.
- Drag & Drop Landing Page Builder: Your LMS should be easy to design and update as needed. There are a variety of options available that allow for simple drag and drop editing to make modifying your online course a smooth and painless process. No coding required!
- Domain Connections: There are many e-learning options out there for people to choose from. So your branding is important. An LMS which allows you to add your own domain or subdomain is a must!
- Account Sharing: Managing a successful online education business isn’t always a solo endeavor. The ability to assign different permissions for your team to complete tasks like editing courses, exporting quizzes or survey results, etc enables you to share the load without giving out your students’ private information or access to make changes to your site.
- Templates: You’re an expert in your content but maybe not an expert in creating a functioning e-learning website. An LMS that offers templates for page layout, landing pages, quizzes, etc will make creating a site that highlights your great content uncomplicated and efficient.
- Membership Area: Customer experience is your priority. A tool that gives your customers 24/7 access to your content, connects them to a community of like-minded individuals and offers exclusive like course bundles, can lead to their retention and recurring revenue for you.
Compare LMS Providers
Now that you have a breakdown of what features to look for, let’s take a look at the top LMS options to choose from.
“ClickFunnels Gives You EVERYTHING You Need To Market, Sell, and Deliver Your Products and Services Online!”
It makes sense that ClickFunnels is everywhere! It’s one of the best LMS options available, offering everything you need to launch a successful online course from easy drag and drop web design, email marketing integration, split testing, payment processing, custom domains and much more. But what really sets them apart is their ability to help you build high converting marketing funnels to grow your business. Because what’s a business without customers? One thing that can be somewhat cumbersome is formatting and creating modules for your course if you’re new to using the platform. Thankfully, ClickFunnels has excellent customer support to walk you through any issues you may run into.
“All The Tools You Need To Build A Successful Online Business”
When they say all-in-one, it’s possible they had Kajabi in mind. With a full site builder, complete management over customers, subscriptions, tools to design a landing page, and email marketing support, businesses looking to manage and sell their online courses can find everything they need to get started with Kajabi. On the downside, some customers feel the interface isn’t as user-friendly as others, and it’s a little more expensive with plans ranging from $149 – $399 a month.
“Create and sell beautiful online courses”
With approximately 10 million students across 125,000 courses, Teachable launched to give you an option beyond giant platforms like Coursera and Udemy. This LMS is packed with tools to engage its student community through features like discussions, integrations and a built-in capability to communicate with students regularly. The cons? Teachable users experience frequent issues with caching, downtime and the functionality and course components you can use are somewhat limited.
“Power your education empire.”
Since Thinkific’s launched its web design tool in 2018, the all-in-one platform has made it even easier for course creators to build and customize educational and high-converting sites. Thinkific also provides 100% video hosting, membership sites and the ability to drip content. And it’s more affordable than some of its competitors with monthly plans ranging from $0 per month to $279 per month depending on the features and plan. One of the downsides is that they don’t offer support for real-time webinars or conferencing.
“Create and sell online courses with the easiest platform on the planet.”
This full-featured platform for selling online courses offers unlimited use of all their features including no limit on bandwidth and file size. The LMS also offers integrations and accessibility in multiple languages. A few of the things they don’t offer include student progress reporting as well as interactive offerings like quizzes, surveys, and exams. Something to keep in mind if you’re trying to create an engaging student experience.
As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when selecting the right LMS for your online course. Take time exploring your options, take advantage of free trials, and make sure you’re confident that the LMS choice will provide you with all of the tools and support you need to make your online course a big success!