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The Ultimate Guide to the Best Online Course Platforms in 2023: Pros and Cons

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The Ultimate Guide to the Best Online Course Platforms in 2023: Pros and Cons

Are you an aspiring online course creator? With the rise of e-learning, there's never been a better time to share your knowledge with the world. But with so many platforms out there, how do you choose the right one? In this guide, we'll break down the top online course platforms of 2023, so you can make an informed decision.

The internet opens a vast world of opportunities to earn money, and one of the options available to you is to capitalize on your knowledge. Creating and selling online courses is one of the most profitable strategies available today... and you're aware of it. 😀 That's why you're searching for the best platforms and tools to sell online courses.

Creating and selling your own online course is the key to monetizing your expertise. But why are more and more people choosing to create and sell online training?

Think about it. Information online is scattered across hundreds, if not thousands, of websites. Too often, it's challenging to distinguish valuable, truthful, and verified information amidst the noise.

For this reason, an increasing number of companies and digital entrepreneurs are choosing to invest in online training. In doing so, they can learn firsthand and under the guidance of genuine experts on subjects of their interest.

The numbers are clear. The e-learning sector is on the rise. It's expected to reach a turnover of 325 billion dollars globally by 2025, according to Forbes. And this high demand presents a golden opportunity for professionals like you to start generating passive income from your knowledge.

Discover the best platforms to sell ONLINE COURSES 🎓. Sounds good, doesn't it? Well, don't wait any longer; let's make your dream of becoming an knowledgepreneur a reality by exploring the best platforms and tools to sell online courses.

Course Marketplaces vs. Course Creation Platforms: What's the Difference?

When diving into the world of online course creation, it's essential to understand the landscape. Two primary models dominate the industry: course marketplaces and course creation platforms. Let's break down the differences:

Course Marketplaces: Skillshare, Udemy, Coursera, Hotmart and More

How They Work:

  • Students visit these platforms to discover and purchase courses.
  • As a creator, you contribute your course to these platforms, much like adding a product to Amazon.


  • Exposure: With platforms like Skillshare, you can reach thousands of students and gain significant visibility. For instance, a successful Skillshare course can put you in front of many potential learners.


  • Limited Profitability: The earnings from these platforms can be modest. From nearly 6,000 students, you might earn only $100 to $200 per month.
  • Lack of Pricing Control: Platforms like Udemy control your course pricing and can offer discounts anytime.
  • No Direct Access to Students: These students belong to the platform, not you. You don't have their email addresses, limiting your marketing opportunities.

Course Creation Platforms: Kajabi, Teachable, Thinkific, Kartra, Systeme and Others

How They Work:

  • These are white-label solutions, allowing you to create and sell courses under your brand.
  • Students discover your course, visit your website, and purchase directly from you.


  • Full Control: You set the course price, control the content, and own the student relationship.
  • Direct Payments: When a student enrolls, they pay you directly, maximizing your earnings.
  • Branding: Unlike marketplaces, where your course is one among many, course creation platforms let you showcase your brand.


  • Requires Marketing: You're responsible for driving traffic to your course, which can be challenging without an existing audience.

While course marketplaces offer exposure, they come with significant limitations in profitability and control. On the other hand, course creation platforms give you full control over your content, pricing, and student relationships, making them a more profitable option for serious online business owners.

Which is the Best Platform to Sell Online Courses?

The range of platforms available for selling online courses today is as diverse as it is overwhelming. That's exactly how I felt when I wanted to launch my first online course.

The truth is, more and more Learning Management Systems (LMS) are entering the market, making the choice even more challenging. You might experience "analysis paralysis," which can halt the entire project in its tracks. My goal is to ensure this doesn't happen to you.

Before we move on, just to share some insights:

  • Focus on topics where you are an expert, and your community needs training.
  • Think about your skills, talents, and experiences. If you love what you do, are good at it, and have experience, then you have a topic for your course. 
  • If you can't decide on one topic, ask your audience, for instance, by conducting a survey. You can use social media or your email to ask about their interests or real needs. 
  • Make sure there's a demand for your topic by researching the market and analyzing the competition. Identify those information gaps that competitors have overlooked, which you can address with your expertise.
  • The perfect platform for selling online courses doesn't exist. None are entirely self-sufficient, although some have greatly refined their features.

  •  Regardless of the platform, think about the tools you will need to launch your course or online business: email marketing, video hosting, checkouts, live sessions, funnels, CRM, etc. 

  • Understand that there's no completely free platform. One way or another, you'll end up paying to sell your online course. Therefore, the two key questions are... How much are you willing to pay for this tool? And is it truly worth paying for?

  •  Usually platforms will request a monthly or yearly fee. Some take a commission, some don't. You might pay for plugins or add-ons that typically have an annual subscription.

With the rise of e-learning, there's never been a better time to share your knowledge with the world. But with so many platforms out there, how do you choose the right one? Let's break down the top online course platforms of 2023, so you can make an informed decision.


Kajabi stands out as the powerhouse, one of the most formidable e-learning platforms in today's market. If you're aiming to make education a pivotal aspect of your venture, Kajabi might just be the tool you've been searching for. Think of it as a multifaceted instrument, equipped to handle a myriad of tasks with ease.

Features and Benefits:

Kajabi is a holistic solution, offering a plethora of features:

  • Product Creation: Kajabi excels in facilitating the creation of diverse products. Whether you're looking to design online courses, establish memberships, offer coaching sessions, foster a community, or even launch podcasts, Kajabi has the tools to make it happen.
  • Landing Pages Creation: Craft captivating landing pages to draw in potential students.
  • Sales Funnels Design: Efficiently guide your visitors towards making a purchase. Just click on the funnel you need, and it will create it for you. 
  • E-mail Marketing Management: Seamlessly integrate with renowned platforms like MailChimp or Active Campaign or use the email marketing tool inside the platform (my personal recommendation.
  • Website Hosting: Establish your online presence with a dedicated website or blog. You don't need to pay for hosting, Kajabi uses cloudflare.
  • Affiliate Management: Collaborate with affiliates to expand your reach.
  • Diverse Selling Options: From memberships to digital product downloads, Kajabi has you covered separating offers from products.
  • Customization: Tailor the aesthetics of your page, from colors and fonts to images.

The platform essentially equips you with everything necessary to get paid for what you know. This translates to substantial savings, as the need for auxiliary tools is eliminated. 

  • Pricing: The basic plan, encompassing 3 products, 3 funnels, unlimited landing pages, unlimited marketing emails, a single website, and catering to 1,000 active members, is priced at $149 monthly. Opting for an annual subscription reduces the cost to $119 per month. For those on the fence, Kajabi offers a free trial to test the waters.
  • Usability: The platform is user-friendly, ensuring a smooth experience. Despite its vast array of features, the interface remains uncluttered and straightforward.

Pros and Cons:


  • All-in-One Solution: Kajabi offers a comprehensive platform for creating, marketing, and selling digital products without the need for third-party integrations.
  • Customization: Users can choose from a variety of professionally designed themes and customize them to match their brand.
  • Mobile Accessibility: Kajabi provides both iOS and Android apps, ensuring learners can access courses on the go. Now you can have your own branded app. 
  • Engagement Tools: The platform fosters community engagement with features like real-time chat, virtual meetups, and built-in community platforms.
  • Educational Resources: Kajabi University offers extensive training materials to guide users in course creation.
  • Efficient Product Creation: Users can quickly create, clone, and offer products to different audiences.
  • Payment Flexibility: Kajabi supports multiple payment options, including monthly payment plans and subscriptions.
  • Marketing Automation: The platform allows for segmentation, tagging, and automated marketing based on student engagement.
  • 24/7 Support: Kajabi offers round-the-clock customer support through live chat and email.
  • No Transaction Fees: Users enjoy 0% transaction fees on their sales.


  • Limited Payment Integration: Kajabi currently only supports Stripe and PayPal for payment processing.
  • Content Transfer Challenges: Moving content from Kajabi to another platform can be labor-intensive.
  • Pricing: There's no free plan available.
  • Limited A/B Testing: The platform does not support A/B testing.
  • Not Ideal for Physical Products: Kajabi isn't optimized for selling physical products, lacking features like shipping integration.

If you're yet to explore what Kajabi offers, I have a special treat for you. Get an extended 30-day trial of Kajabi by using my affiliate link:🎁 Register now and receive my exclusive Kajabi Kickstart course as a complimentary gift. Additionally, a splendid bonus awaits you upon continuing as a paying user. The link can be found in the description.

Basic Growth Most Popular! Pro
Start for free
Start for free
Start for free
0% transaction fee
3 products
3 funnels
Unlimited landing pages
Unlimited marketing emails
10,000 contacts
1,000 active customers
1 website
1 admin user
0% transaction fee
15 products
15 funnels
Unlimited landing pages
Unlimited marketing emails
25,000 contacts
10,000 active customers
1 website
10 admin users
Affiliate program
24/7 Chat support
Advanced automations
Remove Kajabi branding
0% transaction fee
100 products
100 funnels
Unlimited landing pages
Unlimited marketing emails
100,000 contacts
20,000 active customers
3 websites
25 admin users
Custom Code Editor
Affiliate program
Advanced Automations
Remove Kajabi Branding
24/7 Chat support is emerging as a versatile platform for entrepreneurs, especially those in the affiliate marketing domain. It offers a suite of tools designed to simplify the process of building, marketing, and scaling an online business.

Features and Benefits:

  • All-in-One Platform: is more than just a course platform. It's a comprehensive solution that encompasses tools for creating sales funnels, launching email campaigns, building blogs, and even setting up affiliate programs.
  • Affiliate Marketing: The platform places a strong emphasis on affiliate marketing, providing tools that make it easier for users to promote products and earn commissions.
  • Drag and Drop Builder: The platform is equipped with a drag and drop builder, making it easy for users to design and customize their content.
  • Pre-Designed Templates: offers a range of pre-designed templates, allowing users to quickly set up their pages and funnels.
  • Business Automation: The platform's automation features simplify many tasks, from marketing automation to sending emails to specific addresses, adding tags, and more.
  • Online Courses & Membership Sites: is optimized for businesses that sell online courses. It also allows users to create membership sites without the need for coding.
  • Mobile-Friendly: The platform is designed to be mobile-friendly, ensuring a seamless experience across devices.

Pros and Cons:


  • User-Friendly: With its drag and drop builder and intuitive interface, is beginner-friendly.
  • Affordable: The platform offers a generous free plan, and its paid plans provide value for money, especially given the range of tools available.
  • Comprehensive Toolset: From sales funnels to email campaigns and affiliate marketing, offers a holistic solution for online businesses.
  • Active Community: The platform boasts an active community that is always ready to assist, making it especially beneficial for newcomers.
  • Regular Updates: is committed to continuous improvement, regularly updating its features based on user feedback.


  • Limited Design Flexibility: While offers pre-designed templates, it might not provide the design flexibility that some users seek.
  • Limited Third-Party Integrations: The platform might not integrate with certain third-party tools that users might be accustomed to.
  • Learning Curve: Given its comprehensive toolset, some users might find the platform overwhelming initially. I personally did.
Free Startup Webinar Unlimited
$0/month $27/month $47/month $97/month
1 course 10,000 contacts  Unlimited Unlimited
Unlimited emails Unlimited emails Unlimited emails Unlimited emails
2,000 contacts 10,000 contacts  Unlimited Unlimited



Teachable is a renowned platform that empowers individuals to share their knowledge with the world. With its user-friendly interface and many features, it has become a go-to solution for many online educators and entrepreneurs.

Features and Benefits:

  • Highly Customizable: Create a unique experience for each lesson with videos, text, and downloadable resources.
  • Flexible Curriculum Builder: Easily publish or unpublish lessons, make content downloadable, and embed forms.
  • Optimized Checkout Process: Single-page checkout with benefits, testimonials, and guarantees to boost conversions.
  • Numerous Integrations: Connect with tools like Dropbox or Google Drive for easy content import.
  • Automatic EU VAT Tax Calculation: Teachable automatically calculates EU VAT tax, ensuring you remain compliant with tax regulations.
  • Affiliate Payouts Handling: Manage and distribute affiliate earnings without any hassle.


  • Basic Plan: $39/month or $468 billed annually + 5% transaction fee. 5 published products of each type (course, coaching, downloads). Integrated email marketing. Coupons and order bumps. Custom domains. Live group coaching. Accelerator challenge access.

Usability: Teachable offers an intuitive user interface, making it easy for course creators to set up and manage their courses. The platform provides a step-by-step guide to help users navigate through the course creation process.


  • User-Friendly Interface: Teachable is designed with beginners in mind, offering a clean and intuitive dashboard for course creation.
  • Comprehensive All-in-One Solution: From course design to marketing, Teachable provides a suite of tools, eliminating the need for multiple third-party integrations.
  • Robust Security Measures: With PCI Level 1 compliance, Teachable ensures a secure environment, actively combating fraud and chargebacks.
  • Customization and Branding: Beyond its design templates, Teachable allows for custom CSS, HTML, and JavaScript, ensuring your course website aligns with your brand.
  • Engaging Course Features: Incorporate quizzes, certificates, and interactive elements to enhance the learning experience.
  • Built-in Marketing Tools: Benefit from integrated email marketing, affiliate programs, and analytics to promote your courses effectively.
  • Community and Support: Access 24/7 customer support, live chat for Pro plan members, and a vibrant community of course creators for guidance and collaboration.
  • Flexible Pricing Options: Set your course prices, offer discounts through coupon codes, and even explore subscription models for recurring revenue.
  • Multimedia Integration: Teachable supports a variety of content formats, from videos to coding snippets, catering to diverse course needs.
  • Feedback and Interaction: Engage with students, gather feedback, and foster a collaborative learning environment.


  • Limited Free Plan: While Teachable offers a free version, it comes with restrictions on the number of courses and videos. 
  • Transaction Fees on Basic Plans: Lower-tier plans come with transaction fees, pushing creators towards more expensive plans. A 5% transaction fee is applicable on the Basic plan.
  • No Native Review Feature: To showcase student testimonials and reviews, creators need to rely on third-party integrations.
  • Limited Payment Options: While PayPal is universally supported, Stripe integration is reserved for higher-tier plans.
  • Design Limitations: Some users find the design capabilities restrictive, especially when compared to platforms like WordPress.
  • No Phone Support: While email and chat support are available, the absence of phone support can be a drawback for some users.
  • Limited Global Payout Options: For non-US users, the payout options might not be ideal.
  • Restricted Multilingual Support: Teachable doesn't cater to a wide range of languages, which can be limiting for a global audience.
  • Higher Costs Compared to Competitors: Some users feel that Teachable's pricing doesn't offer the best value, especially when compared to platforms with similar or more features.


Plan Free Basic Pro
$0/month $59/month $159/month $249/month
$1 + 10% transaction fee
1 published product of each type (course, coaching, downloads)
No-code course builder and web pages
Student referrals
teachable:pay with integrated payment processing
1 admin & author seat
5% transaction fee
5 published products of each type (course, coaching, downloads)
Integrated email marketing
Coupons and order bumps
Custom domains
Live group coaching
Accelerator challenge access
0% transaction fee
50 published products of each type (course, coaching, downloads)
Affiliate marketing
Live chat support
Upsells to increase order value
Public API access
Removable branding
5 admin & author seats
0% transaction fee
200 courses
200 coaching products
200 digital downloads
200 product bundles
Custom user roles



Thinkific is a platform designed to empower experts and educators to market and sell their knowledge online. It offers a suite of tools that allow users to create, market, and sell courses, ensuring that educators have full control over their content, pricing, and overall student experience.

Features and Benefits:

  • Course Creation: Thinkific provides a robust platform for educators to design and offer unlimited courses, ensuring that their expertise reaches a wide audience.
  • Community Building: With the basic plan, users can establish one community, providing a space for students to engage, discuss, and learn together. Each community can host up to 5 spaces, fostering focused discussions on specific topics.
  • Branding and Customization: Thinkific stands out with its emphasis on customization. Educators can tailor every touchpoint, from course content to marketing pages, ensuring a cohesive and branded experience for students. This includes the ability to use a custom domain, ensuring that your courses truly feel like an extension of your brand.
  • Monetization Tools: Thinkific's basic plan offers a range of tools to help educators monetize their content. This includes the ability to offer coupons and discounts, as well as an affiliate selling feature. Plus, with a 0% transaction fee, educators can maximize their revenue.
  • Support: Thinkific offers both email and live chat support, ensuring that any issues or questions are addressed promptly.
  • Pricing: The basic plan is priced at $49 per month. This plan provides access to core features and essential tools, making it ideal for those looking to launch their online learning business. It includes all the features of the free plan, plus additional benefits like a custom domain, coupons & discounts, and affiliate selling.
  • Usability: Thinkific is designed to be user-friendly, with an intuitive interface that makes course creation and management a breeze.

Pros and Cons:

Pros of Thinkific:

  1. Diverse Pricing Options: Thinkific offers a range of plans, including a free option, catering to different needs and budgets.
  2. Zero Transaction Fees: All revenue from course sales goes directly to the creator without any deductions by Thinkific.
  3. Customization and Branding: With custom domains and a flexible course builder, creators can ensure consistent branding.
  4. Variety of Lesson Types: From text and video to quizzes and surveys, Thinkific supports diverse content formats for comprehensive course creation.
  5. Integrated Payment Options: Thinkific supports popular payment processors like Stripe and PayPal, ensuring secure transactions.
  6. User-Friendly Interface: The platform is intuitive, with drag-and-drop features, making course creation straightforward even for beginners.
  7. Third-Party Integrations: Connect with various tools, from email marketing platforms to CRMs, enhancing the course-selling experience.
  8. Robust Analytics: Integration with analytics services like Facebook Pixel, provides insights into course performance.
  9. Flexible Payment Plans: Offer students multiple payment options, including monthly subscriptions or installment plans.

Cons of Thinkific:

  1. Lack of Integrated Email Marketing: While Thinkific can integrate with third-party email platforms, it doesn't have a native email system.
  2. No Course Marketplace: Creators can't leverage a built-in marketplace to promote their courses, limiting their marketing reach.
  3. Absence of Sales Funnel Builder: While integrations with platforms like Clickfunnels are possible, Thinkific doesn't offer a native funnel system.
  4. No Abandoned Cart Sequences: This feature, crucial for recovering potential sales, is missing.
  5. Limited Affiliate Payment Automation: Thinkific doesn't automatically process affiliate payments.
  6. Page Builder Restrictions: Some users find the page builder less flexible compared to other platforms.
  7. No Gamification Elements: Features like badges, leaderboards, and reward points aren't natively available.
  8. No Blogging Tool: Creators looking to complement their courses with blog content will need to seek external solutions.
  9. Limited Coding Integration: Thinkific isn't suitable for courses that require coding snippets, making it less ideal for programming courses.
Free Basic Start Grow
$0 /month $49 /month $99 /month $199 /month
1 course
1 community
2 spaces p/ community
1 admin
Unlimited Students
0% fee
Email (30 days) and chatbot
Unlimited Courses
1 community
5 spaces p/ community
1 admin
Unlimited Students
0% fee
Email and live chat support
Branded Mobile
Unlimited Courses
1 community
10 spaces p/ community
1 admin
Unlimited Students
0% fee
Email and live chat support
Branded Mobile
Free access to our Accelerator Program
Unlimited Courses
3 communities
20 spaces p/ community
2 admin
Unlimited Students
0% fee
Phone + email support
Branded Mobile

In conclusion, Thinkific is a versatile platform that offers educators the tools they need to successfully market and sell their expertise online. With a focus on customization and a range of monetization tools, it's a solid choice for those looking to build their online education business. 



Kartra is an all-in-one online business platform that offers a suite of integrated tools designed to help entrepreneurs and businesses build, market, and sell their products online. From email marketing to video hosting, Kartra provides a comprehensive solution for online business needs.

Features and Benefits:

  • All-in-One Platform: Kartra combines various tools like email marketing, landing pages, video hosting, membership sites, and more into one unified platform.
  • Drag-and-Drop Builder: Easily create stunning landing pages and sales funnels with Kartra's intuitive builder.
  • Email Marketing: Automated campaigns, behavior-based automations, and advanced segmentation are just a few of the email marketing features.
  • Membership Sites: Create and manage membership sites to deliver content to your subscribers.
  • Affiliate Management: Set up and manage your own affiliate program to boost sales.
  • Video Hosting: Host and deliver your videos directly within Kartra, complete with advanced analytics.
  • Integrated Checkout: Sell products, services, and subscriptions with Kartra's built-in checkout system.

Pricing: Kartra offers multiple pricing tiers, each designed to cater to different business needs. 

Usability: Kartra's platform is designed with user-friendliness in mind. The drag-and-drop builders, intuitive interfaces, and comprehensive tutorials make it easy for users of all skill levels to navigate and utilize the platform effectively.

Kartra positions itself as an all-encompassing digital marketing platform, aiming to be the ultimate tool for online businesses. But is it the right fit for everyone? Let's delve into its strengths and potential drawbacks.

Pros of Using Kartra:

  1. Unified Platform: Kartra serves as a comprehensive solution, eliminating the need to juggle multiple tools. Everything from email marketing to landing page creation is housed under one roof.
  2. Guided Learning: With detailed video tutorials for each feature, Kartra ensures users can quickly grasp its functionalities.
  3. Efficient Workflows: The auto-save feature ensures you never lose progress, allowing for seamless work continuity.
  4. Cost-Effective: Regardless of your chosen pricing tier, you gain access to all of Kartra's features. This offers significant savings compared to purchasing multiple tools separately.
  5. Ready-Made Campaigns: Benefit from expertly crafted campaigns that are ready to deploy, saving time and effort.
  6. Design Flexibility: Choose from a plethora of optimized templates for any online page you wish to create.
  7. Integrated Video Hosting: Kartra's robust video hosting capabilities are tailored for marketers, enhancing user engagement.
  8. Responsive Support: Their support team is not only helpful but also knowledgeable, ensuring users can navigate any challenges they encounter.

Cons of Using Kartra:

  1. Limited Web Development: For those looking to create intricate multipage websites or dynamic blogs, Kartra might fall short.
  2. Learning Curve: Despite its tutorials, the sheer breadth of features in Kartra can be overwhelming for newcomers. However, their 30-day trial provides ample time for acclimatization.
  3. Not Ideal for Single-Purpose Users: If you're solely focused on website or blog development, Kartra might offer more than you need.
  4. Email Deliverability: Some users have reported issues when sending bulk emails, which could impact marketing campaigns.
  5. Lack of White Labeling: As of now, Kartra doesn't support white labeling, although there are indications that this might change in the future.


  Starter Silver (Most Popular) Platinum
Price $119/mo $229/mo $549/mo
Description Just the Basics Launch and Grow Your Business Scale to the Next Level
Contacts 2,500 12,500 50,000
Custom Domains 1 3 10
Emails/mo 15,000 Unlimited Unlimited
Bandwidth 50 GB Unlimited Unlimited
Pages 100 Unlimited Unlimited
Videos 50 Unlimited Unlimited
Products 20 Unlimited Unlimited
Membership Sites 2 Unlimited Unlimited
Team Members 1 Unlimited Unlimited
Helpdesks 1 Unlimited Unlimited
Funnel Mapper Available Available Available
Funnel Simulator Available Available Available
Kartra Webinars Available Available Available
Kartra Agency Available Available Available

When choosing a platform, consider both your needs and the student experience.

Don't get swayed by fancy features you might not use. Instead, focus on the essentials that will help you deliver a great course and ensure a smooth learning experience for your students.

Remember, the best platform is the one that aligns with your goals and feels right for you.

Happy teaching!

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