5 Best Online Course Hosting Platforms (For New Online Teachers)

Affiliate Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links that I get a kickback from.

So you want to create a course?

The platform you choose to host your course on can be vital to its success.

Which one’s the best? 

And for whom?

I’ll go over the best course creator platforms both free and paid to help you make the right choice for hosting your course.

I will compare Skillshare vs Payhip vs Udemy vs Teachable vs Thinkific

They are the most popular course creator platforms among first-time online teachers.

What are the best course creator platforms?

There are many software platforms available to create online courses.

Some are free, while others require a subscription or one-time fee for their hosting services. 

The best platforms for teachers should offer a variety of features to make creating and teaching online as easy and fun as possible.

So here are my picks for the best course creation platforms:

Skillshare banner

Best features:

  1. It’s passive income – once you create a course or a few courses you don’t have to do any work to promote them. Skillshare takes care of marketing your course for you. 
  2. The courses can be super short – the minimum length for a course on Skillshare is only 10 minutes – just like a YouTube video. 
  3. You make money based on watch time. You can read more about how much you can realistically earn on Skillshare here.


$0. It costs nothing to create an account and teach on Skillshare.

Best for:

  • Beginner or first-time online teachers.
  • YouTube creators.
  • Short courses.
  • Teaching creative skills.
Skillshare courses

Best for creating courses about:

  • Courses related to creative niches:
  • Photography (tips, techniques…)
  • Videography (how to speak to a camera, storytelling techniques…)
  • Creative writing (copywriting tips, how to tell a great story, how to go viral…)
  • Arts & crafts (sewing, painting…)
  • Creative software (Photoshop, Illustrator…)
  • Productivity (how to be more productive, how to journal…)
  • Cooking (how to make any meal, how to use a knife like a chef…)
  • Music (music theory, teaching to play an instrument, singing tips…)
  • Web Development Software (Figma, Webflow, WordPress…)

Get started with Skillshare.

Best features:

  1. It’s free – anyone can sign up.
  2. Ability to choose a pricing plan that will reduce the 5% fee from course sales.
  3. Ability to sell any other digital products not only courses.
  4. Teachable accepts instant, international payments.
  5. Can handle VAT for you.
  6. Teachers can make recurring income by upselling to students.
  7. Ability to create a custom landing page for your course with their built-in store builder.
  8. You can connect your custom domain to your Payhip store.

I use Payhip myself to host my YouTube Video Course.

The only drawback is that you have to use some other platform to host your course lessons otherwise you have to pay a fee.

However, this is not a big problem because you can just upload your course lessons to YouTube and easily embed them via the share button.


There are 3 pricing options:

  • $0 + 5% fee on each sale.
  • $29/month + 2% fee on each sale.
  • $99/month + no sales fee.

Best for:

  • YouTubers
  • Creatorpreneurs
  • Anyone with an audience

Get started with Payhip.

Best features:

  1. Anyone can use Teachable for free at the start.
  2. Courses are easily updatable.
  3. A monthly payment option is available for more expensive courses.
  4. Teachable accepts instant, international payments in 100+ currencies.
  5. Teachers can make recurring income by upselling to students.
  6. Ability to create quizzes from your courses.
  7. Teachable requires no coding experience to build and customize themes.


1 course for free. Then starts at $29/month.

Best for:

  • Entrepreneurs.
  • Businesses.
  • Content creators with an established audience (because you have to market your course yourself).
  • The platform can be used to create courses about anything because it’s not driven by an algorithm to serve courses to users (it’s the complete opposite of Skillshare).

Get started with Teachable.

Udemy banner

Best features:

  1. Ability to create courses in many different languages.
  2. The minimum course length is 30 minutes.
  3. Your courses are bought individually – you get paid for them immediately and not based on watch time.
  4. Udemy markets your courses for you – if you don’t have an online presence then you don’t have to worry about promoting your course. Udemy, just like Skillshare promotes your courses for you.
  5. Udemy has great marketplace insights. With their marketplace insights tool, you can enter any keyword and find out the student demand, number of courses, median monthly revenue, and top monthly revenue for that course topic.


$0. It costs nothing to create an account and teach on Udemy.

Best for:

  • Beginners.
  • Businesses.
  • Programmers. 
  • Technology and marketing professionals. 
  • Great for creating longer courses.
Python courses on Udemy

Best for creating courses about:

  • Courses related to tech, business, and marketing:
  • Sales (how to talk to prospects, customer service tips, sales tips…)
  • Business strategy (business mindset, decision-making tips…)
  • Accounting and bookkeeping (introduction to finance, cash flow forecasting, Microsoft Excel, economics…)
  • Marketing (how to market yourself as a coach, copywriting, affiliate marketing tips…)
  • Programming (Python, Java, CSS…)
  • Office productivity (MS Office, time management…)
  • Personal development (leadership, career development, happiness…)
  • Health & Fitness (nutrition, yoga, mental health, bodybuilding, dieting…)
  • Money management tools (accounting software tutorials, crypto 101, investing and trading courses…)

Get started with Udemy.

Thinkific banner

Best features:

  • No coding experience is required to build course pages – has a drag-and-drop page builder. 
  • Has great marketing tools to help sell your course. 
  • Provides a lot of data about your course students (you can view things like last sign-in date, course starting date, course completion date, email, name, percentage of course completed, course activation date, etc.)
  • Has a free plan for new teachers to experiment. 
  • Doesn’t charge transaction fees, unlike Teachable.
  • Ability to create a course on a custom domain.
  • Has the option to create course coupons for student discounts.


1 course for free. Then starts at $74/month.

Ways to earn money with Thinkific

Best for:

  • Long courses (3 hours +).
  • Entrepreneurs.
  • Industry experts.
  • The platform can be used to create courses about anything because it’s not driven by an algorithm to serve courses to users. The way it works is very similar to Teachable and the complete opposite of Udemy and Skillshare.

Get started with Thinkific.

Was this list of the best online course creation software useful?

There are a number of websites and platforms available to host online courses. 

Some are more comprehensive than others, but all offer the ability to teach your skills online.

In terms of choosing the right platform for you, it will depend on your specific needs and requirements.

So far I’ve hosted most of my “smaller” online courses on Skillshare and my “larger” YouTube Video Course on Payhip.

And if you are looking to become an online teacher, chances are that you are interested in other ways of earning money online

That’s why I encourage you to check out y some of these resources that will help you do just that:

5 Best Websites Every Entrepreneur Should Know

Best Online Business Ideas To Start With AI ($12,610 / Month)

How To Set Up Shopify Store (8 Easy Steps)

Thanks for reading 👋!

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