Where can I take online courses

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You want to offer an online course and are now looking for the right platform for your course? There are many different course platforms for online courses:

Elopage, Udemy, Digistore24, Coachy, Kajabi and Teachable are probably the best-known course providers.

When choosing the right provider, you can do many fatal mistakes do and that's why I would like to explain to you in this post which Advantages and disadvantages the individual online course platforms and which provider you should definitely not use in German-speaking countries.

I will also show you which platforms offer the complete package and which, for example, are pure payment providers - so that you are guaranteed to make the right choice!

In addition to the right online course platform, you would also like to find out how to create your online course in a time-saving manner and market it profitably? I have a free online course timetable created for you by telling you about my tried and tested strategies.

By the way: You can also watch my contribution as a video:

Introduction: The main differences between the course platforms

The top 6 course platforms, which I will explain to you in a moment, differ in the following basic characteristics from each other:

Payment provider:

You sell your online courses through your payment provider. The payment provider receives a percentage of your sales for this, usually between 3-8%commission.

Course platform:

Your online course will be on the course platform hosted, i.e. there is your content (videos, PDFs, text) that the customer can view.

German or American provider:

There are German and American providers. In general, I always recommend one German provider to use. I will explain more to you below.

"Reseller" model or "Sell on your own behalf" model:

Most payment providers offer you the option of selling in the "reseller" model or in your own name. "Reseller" model means that the payment provider sells your online course in their own name. This means that the customer concludes the contract with the payment provider and no longer with you. Later, the payment provider pays you the sales and at the same time keeps a fee for payment processing (usually between 5-8% commission, depending on sales). The reseller model has the big one advantagethat you don't have to worry about invoicing and one low accounting effort has.

In addition to the reseller model, you can also use some providers sell in your own name. Here are the fees though less (between 3-5% commission), but you have one greater accounting effort.

Digistore24 Alternative - Which payment provider platforms you can use instead

Before reading this article, you may have already researched which online course providers are available on Google. Then you probably stumbled upon Digistore24 in the first place - after all, that is one of the most famous platforms for online courses worldwide!

So that you make the right choice, I really want you too convincing Digistore24 alternatives demonstrate.

The biggest advantage of Digistore24: The tool is used extensively worldwide and is therefore particularly fast in terms of updates and problem solving.

A disadvantage of Digistore24: It is a pure payment provider. So you have to network Digistore24 with another provider on which you can enter your course content and your member area.

In the following I present you as alternatives elopage (my personal favorite!), Udemy, Kajabi, Teachable and Coachy.

Overview of the top 6 platforms for online courses:

1. Elopage - German course platform and payment provider

Elopage is one of the most famous platforms for online courses and offers several large ones advantages.

Companies based in Germany, i.e. this provider is GDPR compliant, customer support is on German reachable and Elopage is adapted to the German-speaking market.
Course platform and payment provider in one: Elopage takes over the hosting of your course and all payment processing for you. This has the great advantage that you don't have to use multiple tools, but have one provider for everything.
Modern design without having to program yourself: Elopage offers you a modern design for your online courses that is completely preprogrammed. So you don't have to change any HTML codes or pay a web designer.
Elopage offers you the option of selling in the reseller model or in your own name. Here you can see what my own online course "Success Course" looks like for course participants in elopage:

2. Digistore24 - Pure payment provider

In addition to Elopage, Digistore24 is also one of the best-known platforms for online courses in German-speaking countries. All important: Digistore24 is a pure payment provider, i.e. does not offer you an all-in-one solution like elopage.

To host your courses, you'll need to use a second provider. Here you have several options: You can use the WordPress plugin "Digimember" use it directly from Digistore24 or rely on another provider (Coachy, Kajabi ... see below). But that has several disadvantage:

  1. If you're using Digimember through WordPress, you have to program yourself or work with a web designer.
  2. Coachy and Kajabi are easy to integrate, but you always have one interface between payment provider and platform: In the case of cancellations in particular, you may have to manually delete the participant from the course platform. With elopage, for example, this happens automatically.

Apart from this disadvantage, Digistore24 is a pure payment provider well suited and is actually a good choice if you want to program with WordPress yourself. Incidentally, Digistore24 only offers you the option of selling in the reseller model.

3. Udemy– The largest American course platform

Udemy is the largest American provider and also a course platform and payment provider in one. Udemy is on the rise in the German market in particular and offers you the opportunity to take your online courses dead easy upload and offer for sale. Udemy has the big one advantagethat the platform your course through its own channels co-marketed. This means that Udemy as a platform already has such a well-known image and a large customer base that you can also use this range as a beginner.

But Udemy also has a big disadvantage: The price range of the courses offered on Udemy is very low because Udemy regularly offers courses in discount campaigns with up to 90% discount.

This means that instead of the regular € 120 on Udemy, courses are sometimes sold for € 9.99. As a lecturer, you can choose whether you want to take part in these discount campaigns. However, due to this low price framing, you hardly have the opportunity to offer higher-priced online courses (more than € 200) on Udemy. My recommendation is therefore: Udemy is well suited for a low-priced entry-level product to attract many new customers. For one higher pricedcourse I would Udemy however do not use. By the way, Udemy only offers you the option of selling in the reseller model.

4. Kajabi - All-in-one course platform, payment provider and marketing tool

Kajabi is a fairly new American provider and one All-in-one marketing tool: On Kajabi you not only have the option to host and sell your online course, but you can also use Kajabi for many other marketing purposes: You can use it Landing pages, yours Website and your Email Marketing shape. This all-in-one approach is of course just for Beginner great, but Kajabi has a few disadvantage, which I would like to explain to you below:

  1. Kajabi is a American provider and not 100% designed for the German market. You will notice this, for example, by the fact that only PayPal and credit card are offered as payment methods. From my experience, however, I know that German customers prefer to use SEPA, purchase on account or prepayment as a payment option. If you only offer PayPal and credit cards, you are guaranteed to lose a lot of customers in Germany.
  2. Kajabi is an all-in-one platform: It looks great at first glance, but it still offers two major risks: Experience has shown that an all-in-one platform does a good job on the surface, but it will never cover all marketing tools as well as individual tools specialized in them. This can be seen, for example, in the loading times of the Kajabi pages (very slow) or in the superficial e-mail funnels. These functions are certainly sufficient for beginners, but as soon as you want to customize something more in-depth (tracking codes, e-mail funnels, etc.) you will quickly reach your limits with Kajabi.

The second risk: Your entire business depends on one provider! I would always diversify, especially when it comes to technology, and at least separate the website provider, e-mail tool and course platform from one another.

5. Teachable - American course platform and payment provider

I used Teachable for my first online course and quickly got the rude awakening: Teachable is also an American platform that is super designed and easy to use. Still, Teachable has one fatal disadvantage:

Teachable only offers PayPal and credit card as payment options like Kajabi. Apart from that, Teachable shows your Prices in dollars only what causes confusion, especially for German customers, and is an absolute criterion for homicide. Conclusion: Teachable is a great platform, but not suitable for German-speaking countries!

Teachable only offers you the option of selling in the reseller model. Here is what my first online course looked like on Teachable:

6. Coachy - Pure course platform

Coachy is a fairly new German course platform on which you can host your online courses. That means you are coachy not as a payment provider can use. For this you would need e.g. Digistore24 or elopage. As a pure course platform, Coachy offers you a solid, modern design and is easy to use. As an alternative to Digimember (WordPress plugin that you have to program yourself), Coachy offers you a simple alternative.

Conclusion: the best platforms for online courses in comparison

As a conclusion, I summarize again for you: In addition to elopage as an all-in-one solution, you can use Digistore24 in combination with Digimember, Coachy or Kajabi. I also recommend that you always use a German payment provider!

If you want more information, you can also look for Copecart, Spreadmind and E-Shepherd. I have already listed the best-known alternatives to Digistore24 for you above - you are guaranteed to find the right provider for you below!

Your next steps

In addition to the right online course platform, you would also like to find out how to create your online course in a time-saving manner and market it profitably? I have created a free online course timetable for you in which I reveal my 3 tried and tested strategies.

I wish you maximum success with your own online course!

Which course platform is the best?

My personal favorite is Elopage, as it is a practical all-round solution: You get a course platform and payment provider in one.

What course platforms are there?

The best-known course platforms are: Elopage, Udemy, Digistore24, Coachy, Kajabi, Teachable.

Do I need a course platform for my courses?

Not necessarily, you can also upload your course to your own website. However, this is much more complex and expensive to implement than simply choosing a ready-made course platform.

Why do I need a payment provider for my online courses?

You sell your online courses through your payment provider. The payment provider receives a percentage of your sales for this, usually between 3-8%commission.

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