If you are not a programmer and you plan on selling less than 5 paid courses, I recommend Teachable because it is less expensive, comes with many “batteries included”, and is also much easier to to get started.
But Teachable pricing gets quite expensive if you have many courses (like I do).
If you want to sell more than five products, and especially if you want to add some customization to your courses, this guide will be useful for you.
In fact no online course platform will allow you to do the kind of customizations that you can do using a WordPress plugin like LearnDash.
You will see why in the rest of this course.
|Website hosting||Included||LearnDash cloud is an option, but using it mostly negates the primary benefit of self-hosted WordPress. Most of the time, you would want to pay for website hosting because it gives you more control over all the stuff I will be discussing in this course. I recommend the WordPress.com Business Plan if you can afford it.|
|Video hosting||Included||At the moment, the best choice for adding video to your LearnDash courses is bunny.|
|Email marketing||Basic email marketing features included||WordPress Business Plan comes with some very basic email marketing features, but if you are creating online courses, odds are quite high that you are a one person business. And if you are a one person business, Zoho One is easily the best choice for all your marketing needs|
|Search across course videos||Not available||Very easy to do with a good search plugin. |
You can now use AI tools to automatically transcribe your videos for free, and also get pretty good accuracy. So the text inside your videos also becomes searchable, and this feature is very hard to implement in online courses.
|Custom Navigation||Not possible||Given that you are using self-hosted WordPress anyway, the custom navigation features are probably an important part of helping guide your visitors to all parts of your website.|
|EU VAT MOSS (Merchant of Record)||Included||This is not easy, especially if you want something which directly integrates with LearnDash. But I have found an interesting solution to this problem if you are already a Zoho One customer.|
|SEO||Hard||Easier (not easy).|
One of the best things about LearnDash is that you can create fully open courses and use a free theme to set up easy navigation so that people can go through many pages on your website at once when they land on one free lesson, which can help you with SEO.
Setting up fully open courses is also possible in Teachable but there are two differences – Google will not send traffic to such pages unless there is absolutely nothing else on the topic, and you cannot add any top level navigation into these “open” (Preview) pages in Teachable.
In summary, if you want some of the customizations I have described above, LearnDash would be a good option.
But the best option is probably to start with Teachable or some other fully hosted solution first, and then migrate to LearnDash once you are sure that your courses make enough sales to make it worth the switch.