If you are a new course creator, all the information out there online can seem overwhelming. There are so many course platforms to choose from, so how do you determine which is right for you?
Which is the best course platform?
There’s no science in it, to be honest, but I hope this guide will give you some background on the course platforms that I would recommend to my clients.
Remember the business goals you have set for yourself and your budget, but try not to get caught up in the here and now and take a longer-term view.
I have used them all, so I have the inside scoop on the course creator and user experience side of the platforms.
Let’s dive in…
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Kajabi is one of my top recommendations because it is robust, reliable, and secure, and its customer service is fantastic. You can make your courses look professional and beautiful on Kajabi.
Customer service will come back to you quickly so you can keep implementing without delay.
Did you know that you can use Kajabi as an all-in-one platform – so you can use Kajabi for your website and your courses?
I don’t use Kajabi like this, as I always believed in having a separate website, but it can save you a lot of money doing this.
What I like about Kajabi for me and my clients
- It offers an all-in-one customisable platform, and they are constantly adding new features.
- Making your courses and memberships look high-end is easy, which is a must for my new brand identity.
- It is more secure than cheaper platforms – some clients dealing with sensitive information have used Kajabi confidently.
- Kajabi provides you with great-looking, easy-to-customise templates for your website and funnels.
- You can host podcasts on Kajabi
- Great customer service
What I don’t like about Kajabi for me and my clients
- It can be beyond some people’s budgets – especially for course creators new to online business.
- There isn’t a free plan.
- You have to pay more to access your website code if you want a developer like me to customise further.
- The email CRM can be clunky and limited compared to a separate email CRM like Convertkit or Active Campaign.
Okay, so let’s dig into some alternative course platforms.
Kajabi Alternative #1 – FEA Create
Basically, all of the platforms below are the same base platform as Go High Level. People have bought their version of GHL and customised it for their audience.
Easy Peasy Funnels
Modern or Go Modern
I love working with this platform – it’s so easy to build on it, and the good news for you as a course creator is that it becomes easier after you overcome the learning curve.
Pro-tip – Most of these platforms offer a free course to help you, but there are free tutorials on Go High Level, which also work for the other platforms.
What I like about FEA Create, Go High Level and others for me and my clients.
- It offers an all-in-one customisable platform, and the owners offer fantastic additions. Easy Peasy Funnels is smashing it in this area at the time of writing.
- You can use a separate website or choose to build your website on the platform. Check out this website I created for Sarah from Lessons in Lettings on FEA Create.
- A monthly fee of around $97 for a few of these platforms makes it more affordable, but you get a website, funnels, courses, memberships, calendar functionality, and an email CRM.
- You have unlimited courses and memberships.
- Unlimited funnels and automations
- Schedule your socials directly from the platform.
- Different templates depending on which one you choose. Go High Level has templates more suited to traditional brick and mortar businesses, whereas FEA Create has templates suitable for female entrepreneurs.
- They offer a free trial so that you can test them out. The average length is 14 days.
What I don’t like about FEA Create, Go High Level and others for me and my clients.
- Every platform has limitations – you can’t customise the blog fonts
- If you want custom fonts, you need to add them to the code of every page you use.
- The mobile view is supposed to be optimised for mobile, but IMHO, as a developer, it isn’t.
- Photos can appear blurry until you turn off the image compression.
Kajabi Alternative #2 – Thrivecart Learn
I invested in Thrivecart back when it was only a sales cart. Now, TC has added its course platform, too. Thrivecart Learn has surprised me over the last few months as we transfer my small offers to the platform.
Thrivecart, at present, is a one-time payment, and you get the platform for life. I bought TC Pro for $690 at the time as I wanted their affiliate centre also. It meant that I got free access to Thrivecart Learn. Still, I upgraded for around $200 to Thrivecart Learn+, which allows me to create bundles and more sophisticated automation inside TC.
What I like about Thrivecart Learn for me and my clients
- Once you’ve paid, you’re done! $497 for the standard account and $195 upgrade for Thrivecart Pro, which has the affiliate management centre also.
- Thrivecart Learn is free when you purchase the standard account or Pro.
- Course upload is easy.
- It is easy to hook up to email CRMs. Convertkit now has a direct integration with it.
- I don’t need to upgrade my Kajabi account as I will be using Kajabi to house my higher ticket offers (more products on Kajabi is a big jump to $319 a month).
- You can get beautifully designed templates from TC experts, and they plug and play.
- Duplication of courses and products is easy and saves time when building a new thing.
What I don’t like about Thrivecart Learn for me and my clients
- Recently (at the end of 2023), TC has been going through an internal upgrade, and some new features have downtime. I’m monitoring this as no one likes downtime, so I will update this as things develop.
- You have to store course videos separately. I store them in my Screenpal hosting so I can embed them into TC easily. You could use YouTube and set your videos as unlisted or Vimeo.
- It doesn’t look as good as Kajabi.
- TC often forgets key colours you’ve given it, meaning you are constantly typing in colour codes.
Click here to find out more about Thrivecart (affiliate link)
Kajabi Alternative #3 – Systeme.io
To be transparent, this is the platform I am moving away from, but I still recommend it to beginners.
Because it offers a similar feel to Kajabi, but you can begin your business journey for free.
I am moving away from it because it doesn’t fit my business goals long term. I want other lovely people to recommend my products, and the affiliate centre is more complex than Thrivecart.
Another reason is to make small changes like currency; you need to do workarounds that are time-consuming compared to changing a setting, for example, in Kajabi.
But for beginners, this platform offers so much!
What I like about Systeme.io for my clients
- You can start off offering one course, and the plan is free.
- If you have any courses on another platform, they offer free migration.
- There are so many great templates for websites and funnels.
- You can also get lots of free templates from creators in the Facebook group who tend to offer a paid setup service if you want it.
- The course platform is easy to use, and you can upload your videos directly to the platform.
- Support is quick at responding – they usually respond within 24 hours.
- Evergreen webinars are cheaper than using a separate evergreen webinar platform.
What I don’t like about Systeme.io for my clients
- Clunky affiliate centre (but bear in mind, I was further along in my business journey)
- You will receive quite a few promotional emails – at one point, Systeme jumped on the master resell rights bandwagon with their courses but edited it hours later (I think they realised it wasn’t a great approach, as they changed the offer to PLR rights, which isn’t a pyramid scheme)
- It’s more work to make the pages look high-end, prompting me to create a new plan for my course platform.
Click here to find out more about Systeme.io (affiliate link)
Well, there you have it – if there’s one thing I want you to take away from this, it’s that every platform will have its limitations. You are not alone in feeling it’s overwhelming – I don’t think I’ve met anyone who wasn’t even a little overwhelmed when choosing the tech for their courses.
If you choose to work with me on this kind of project, I first help you with options that fit your business goals as part of my free strategy call.
Want to schedule a free, no-obligation strategy call?
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If you already have the tech you love, I’m all about maximising your use of the platform so you get the look you are after and make more money from your courses.
Do you want to get the inside scoop?