Infographic of 10 factors to consider while choosing perfect online course platform

You are geared up to jump into action. You have the perfect course topic in mind and have the framework ready. Now, where will you host it? With so many platforms available, it certainly can be daunting to find the right one.

Without the right features, you may find yourself struggling to provide the best learning experience, and that will set you up for failure.
In this guide, we talk about the 10 most important factors to consider when choosing the perfect online course platform.

Factors to consider while choosing the best course hosting platform

1. Website Builder

The biggest advantage of having your own website is that it sets you apart and provides you with the foundation for building a personal brand.
Look for a platform that allows you to create your own website. With a website builder, you have the flexibility to customize the look and feel of your course website to match your brand and make it unique. This includes the option to choose from different templates, add images, and edit content as needed.

2. Course-building features

Depending on the course you are selling, it is important to consider the course-building features the platform offers. For instance,

  • It should provide an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface that allows you to quickly and easily create courses with customized content.
  • Features should include tools for organizing and management options. For example, the platform should allow instructors to upload and organize course materials, such as text, images, and videos, in a structured and easily accessible manner.
  • Lastly, the perfect course creation platform should also allow you to include interactive elements, such as quizzes and assessments, to engage students and measure their progress.

3. Cost considerations

Be mindful of some platforms that also charge transaction fees per sale, and this can significantly affect your revenue. Consider if there are any additional fees for features such as video hosting and storage. While weighing the various platform options, take into account the long-term cost structure, including monthly or yearly fees.
It is also important to factor in any costs associated with integrations with other tools, such as payment systems, email marketing, and analytics. Also, factor in any costs associated with integrations with other tools, such as payment systems, email marketing, and analytics.
Choose a platform that offers affordable pricing options, flexible payment processing options, and a clear understanding of all costs to ensure a cost-effective solution.

Monthly/Yearly Fees, transactional charges, Video hosting and storage charges, and fees for integration with other tools should be factored into cost considerations.

4. Marketing Tools

Marketing tools can help you reach and engage with potential students, increase enrollment, and ultimately grow your business.
One of the key marketing tools to look for is email marketing. Creating an email list of subscribers is crucial to your course's success. Look for a platform that allows you to build an email list and send mass and automated emails.
Another important marketing tool is the live chat feature. The feature lets you connect with your students in real-time and address their concerns and questions directly.

Related: 5 Best ways to Market your online course

5. User-friendliness

When evaluating a platform, consider the interface and navigation.

  • Is it easy to use and understand? Does it offer drag-and-drop features for course building, or is it complicated, requiring you to do a lot of things manually?
  • Think from the student’s perspective as well. Can they connect with you seamlessly?
  • If they get stuck, is the platform intuitive enough to guide them in the correct direction?

A user-friendly platform can make the course creation and management process uncomplicated, saving you time and increasing productivity.

6. Customer support

You wouldn’t want to pull your hair out waiting on the call for your customer support rep to respond. Customer support is a crucial aspect to consider when selecting a platform to host your online courses. It can make the difference between a successful and a frustrating experience.

  • Does the platform you are evaluating offer live chat, email support, or phone support
  • Check if the support is available 24/7 or only at certain times of the day. If it’s the latter, does it match your and your audience’s time zone?
  • Can you access help resources, such as knowledge bases or forums, for self-service support?

Look for a platform that offers multiple support channels, quick response times, and a helpful support team to ensure a successful experience.

7. Integrations with other software

Integrations with other software can greatly enhance the functionality and versatility of your course platform. By connecting with other tools, you streamline processes, automate tasks, and improve the overall experience for you and your learners.
Check if the platform can integrate with your preferred payment gateway, email marketing software, or video conferencing tool. You must look for a platform that offers a wide range of integrations. Moreover, it should be flexible and scalable. 

The perfect course platform should let you streamline processes, automate tasks, and improve the overall experience for you and your learners.

8. Community Builder

A platform that offers robust community-building features can help you foster a supportive and collaborative learning environment. Communities will allow students to engage with each other, ask questions, and share their experiences.
Check if the platform offers a variety of tools and features to help you build an engaged and active community of learners, such as discussion boards, forums, chat rooms, and other social features.
The community builder should also provide you with the tools and insights you need to monitor and manage the community.

9. Video hosting and streaming

Video is a powerful way to engage and educate your students, and you wouldn't want to compromise on the quality of this experience. For instance, when evaluating a platform, consider the video hosting and streaming capabilities.

  • Can the platform host and stream high-quality video content?
  • Can you easily embed videos into your course materials?
  • Does the platform have features like captions, speed control, and chapter markers?

Video hosting and streaming are key components of any online course, and choosing a platform that can deliver high-quality video experiences can help you engage and educate your students more effectively.

10. Analytics and Reporting

How would you measure your course success without tracking how your students behave with your course? Analytics and reporting tools allow you to track student engagement, monitor course completion rates, and measure the impact of your course materials.
Look for a platform that provides detailed analytics on student engagement. For example,

  • How much time do students spend on each video, quiz, or assignment?
  • How many people opened your email?
  • What is the course completion rate?

You can utilize this information to pinpoint areas in your course that could use some improvement and also gain valuable insights into the content that resonates well with your students.
It's important to choose a platform that provides flexible and customizable reporting capabilities, so you can tailor your analytics and reporting to meet your specific needs.

Next Steps

With the right platform, you'll have the power to unlock your potential as an online educator and bring about an impact on your students’ lives. By carefully considering each of the 10 factors outlined above, you'll be able to make an informed decision and find a platform that truly resonates with your needs and goals.

If you are still on the fence, however, try Miho. Miho is a platform designed exclusively for online course creators. Miho allows you to create and sell online courses all in one place, setting you up for the win. You can get a 14-day free trial when you signup today.