How to create an online course with the best online course tools

Wondering how to create an online course? Well, that’s a complicated topic. But for starters, you’ll need the right online course tools. You need a course platform, a sales page builder, a checkout cart, and a lot more. These are the best online course tools for course creators and bloggers.

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I love these tools…

Flatlay with school supplies. The best online course tools for course creators.

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Here come the tools…

Best course platform: Teachable

First things first, you need somewhere to actually host your course.

You can do this by installing a membership plugin on your website, or by going with a third-party software. I highly recommend the latter.

My favorite course platform has always been Teachable.

Teachable can do four main things:

  • Host your course content
  • Sales page creator
  • Checkout cart
  • Affiliate program

I now use different tools for my sales pages (Elementor) and my checkout cart (Thrivecart), but these features are still pretty good on Teachable.

The sales page creator isn’t super customizable, but you can still create very nice sales pages.

Their checkout page isn’t super customizable either (although you can add five bullet points, a refund guarantee, and two testimonials). But if you want to keep everything on the same platform, or if you’re on a budget, it works fine. It accepts PayPal or credit card, which is. nice.

But the reason I really like Teachable is their course platform. And there are a few reasons.

First, it looks great. I really like the UI on the course platform (as my students see it). It’s easy to navigate and just looks good.

Screenshot of the best online course platform, Teachable, the curriculum page.
Screenshot of the best online course platform, Teachable, the lesson page.

Second, creating content is extremely easy. You can create as many sections/modules as you want, and then as many lessons as you want within each module. Inside the lessons, you can very easily add:

  • Text
  • Video (imported from your computer, from Google Drive, from Dropcart, or a bunch of other places it integrates with)
  • Downloadable files like PDFs
  • Example code (for if your course topic involves custom code)

I’ve never used the quiz part, but I’ve done all the rest many times and it’s super easy and straightforward.

Screenshot of the best online course platform, Teachable, creating a lesson.

Lastly, they also have an affiliate program. I no longer use this as I now use Thrivecart’s, but Teachable’s is easy to use too.

Long story short, I’ve tried a bunch of other platforms, and Teachable remains my favorite.

Best checkout platform: Thrivecart

Thrivecart is the gold standard when it comes to checkout pages.

You may not realize it, but the way a checkout page looks and works can have a big impact on your course sales. There are many people who will add the course to their cart, go to the checkout page, and then not purchase.

Thrivecart does its best to keep that number of people to a minimum.

It’s designed to convert.

You can completely customize your checkout page to add images, bullet points, text, etc. You can control what information it asks for and how the payment options are presented. And you can easily add “bump offers,” which is when you have a little box on the checkout page asking the person if they’d also like to purchase a low ticket product from you. You can get tons of conversions from this.

Screenshot of the page editor of Thrivecart's online course checkout platform.

As an example, here’s the checkout page for my course, Break Into Blogging.

Screenshot of a Thrivecart checkout page.

They will also host your affiliate program, and they make it really easy. They’ll pay your affiliates automatically, so you never have to worry about it. They also make it easy to join your affiliate program with just a couple clicks.

Thrivecart integrates with tons of different platforms, but if it doesn’t directly integrate, you can most likely use Zapier to hook it up (which is what I do to hook up Teachable and Thrivecart).

Right now they are offering a lifetime deal where you pay one price for lifetime access to Thrivecart. They’ve been running this deal for quite a while, but they say that it will eventually be a high monthly price, so best to grab it now before that happens.

Best sales page builder: Elementor

Creating a sales page is a serious endeavor. But putting the copy aside, you need a good sales page builder. And Elementor fills that roll.

Elementor is a page builder plugin (you can use it for any page, not just sales pages. I use it all over this blog.). It’s free (though there is a paid version with more features) and once you get the hang of it it’s super easy to use. It’s also incredibly customizable. You can create some really cool stuff.

I use Elementor for all my sales pages (and most other pages). Highly recommend.

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Best email provider: ConvertKit

You need an email provider to be able to build your list and email that list about your course.

ConvertKit is the best.

The automation and rules and sequences make everything so easy to put on auto pilot.

I love it.

Best slides, PDFs, and graphics creator: Canva

Canva is pretty much my obsession. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s an online graphic design tool that can do SO many things and is SUPER easy to use.

I use it for basically everything:

  • Instagram posts
  • Slide decks
  • Freebie PDFs of all kinds
  • Instagram Stories
  • Promo graphics
  • Video thumbnails
  • Graphics for my sales page and blog
  • Icons
  • Patterns
  • Mockups
  • The list goes on and on…

Pretty much and kind of graphic, slide deck, or PDF you need for your course, you can make on Canva.

There’s a free version, but I recommend upgrading to the paid version (which is just $10/month) because you get a lot of REALLY useful features.

Best file management: Google Drive

I don’t know what I would do without Google Drive. I use it for everything, including online course creation and launches.

It’s incredibly easy to create folders to organize all of your content.

You can create Google Docs, Sheets, or Forms. And you can upload files like your course videos, your course PDFs, or pretty much whatever.

It’s free, and it’s a lifesaver. Highly recommend.

Best video software: Screenflow

I use Screenflow to record all the videos for my courses.

It records your computer screen, so can you use it to play a slideshow that I talk over, or to record a tech tutorial that I also talk over.

It’s very easy to edit, and I say that as someone who knows nothing about video editing.

It also integrates directly with platforms like Google Drive and YouTube, so you can very easily put your videos into storage.

I highly recommend it.

So that’s that! These are the top tools that I use to create, launch, and run my online courses. You can’t go wrong with any of these babies!

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Do you have other online course tools you like? Let me know in the comments!

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