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PUBLISH DATE: Jul 07 2023
UPD: Jan 17 2024
Reading time: 6 minutes

How to Create an E-Learning Platform Like Udemy and Coursera?

Do you want to start an e-learning platform? You’ll learn how to do this in this article!

Modern Internet offers its users many benefits. The opportunity to transform education is among them. Platforms such as Udemy and Coursera tremendously impact the current market. Why? They allow people to educate themselves without going to school or college. Undoubtedly, services of this type will play a vital role in the future of education. Do you want to create an e-learning website? In such a case, this article will greatly help you. We review the business models of e-learning websites, their types, and the key features one should consider for such sites.

How Do Online Learning Websites Work?

If you’re reading this article, you likely want to understand how modern online learning websites function. To create an e-learning website, you need to first understand the overall concept behind such projects. Online learning websites work by providing a platform where individuals can access educational materials and courses over the Internet. These websites typically deliver a range of courses on various subjects and are often structured with video lectures, quizzes, assignments, and discussion forums. Users can enroll in courses, access the content at their own pace, interact with instructors and fellow learners, submit assignments, and track their progress. Some platforms also award certifications or degrees upon completion of certain programs. In short, they offer access to a full array of information necessary for mastering certain concepts.

eLearning Platforms’ Business Model

Elearning platforms' business model

When you build an e-learning website (and any other project), it’s crucial to answer one central question: what is its business model? How is it going to earn funds? Without understanding those factors, you risk creating a popular business that would nonetheless fail due to the problems with monetization. We know many examples of companies failing due to this issue. The ideas below will help you overcome this problem if you invest in creating an online learning platform:

1. Payment-based certificate system

The first way to earn funds is to offer the customers an opportunity to get certificates for their efforts via a certain fee. How does this work? The course can be free, but to get proof of completion, one has to pay. Some courses, such as CS50, may boost employment chances due to their reputation and connection to top schools such as Harvard, as Fortune reports. In this light, investing in a certificate is a great idea. If you expect many high-quality courses on your site, monetizing the certificates is a great idea for creating an online learning platform.

2. Subscription-centric access

Another way to earn on courses is to offer access through a subscription. This can be done in multiple ways. One may charge funds for access to all courses. It’s also possible to ask for payment regarding particular courses. Everything depends on the complexity of the relevant material and the willingness of the partners with whom you work. In our opinion, a combination of options functions well, too: for example, newer and more complex courses can get separate subscriptions; older ones can become a part of the general subscription package.

3. Advertisement

Most sites, such as Udemy and Coursera, are perfect for advertisers. They provide high-quality content that is safe for work. In this light, you’ll likely attract many advertisers to your service. Companies promoting other learning services or delivering devices that enhance learning are likely to prioritize online e-learning platforms in their activities. Are you afraid the site users may be angry about such monetization? Offer advertisement for free users and a no-advertisement option for the premium ones. Many people will likely perceive such an approach as sufficiently fair.

4. Corporate contracts

All firms on the market greatly care about the quality of their workforce. This means they need major investments in the training of the relevant employees. This is exactly what online courses offer. Why are corporate contracts so important for various e-learning services? Many companies order courses for many people (sometimes, thousands of individuals can be involved). This means you can earn large sums from cooperation with enthusiastic clients who are genuinely willing to study. One large contract with a firm may cover your expenses for a whole year (granted that the company is a large-scale market leader, for instance).

5. User help

Certain users are also willing to donate to various services they use constantly. Donations are a perfect way to go outside the confines of conventional payment frameworks. For example, some people may be willing to donate small sums that are below the threshold of your premium services. Others may deliver massive support, which will be much larger than any service-oriented payments possible within a platform. By opening a pathway for donations, you give the users a chance to customize their investments. If your goal is creating an online learning platform that’s about being free (as in freedom), the best choice is to configure a strong basis for donations.

E-Learning Platforms Types

When you create an online learning platform, it’s crucial to know what frameworks exist on the market. There are different approaches to creating high-quality products. Here are some of the key types to consider:

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC): Mass Education

MOOCs are online learning platforms offering a wide range of courses on various subjects. They allow anyone to enroll and access educational content for free or at a minimal cost. MOOCs often feature video lectures, interactive exercises, and community forums to ease learning and engagement.

Learning Management Systems (LMS): Comfortable Tools for Managing Learning

An LMS is a software platform educational institutions or organizations use to manage and deliver online courses. It provides tools for creating, organizing, and tracking courses and managing student enrollments, assessments, and communication. Using this tool, a teacher can control every aspect of their daily work with the students. In turn, the students also access high-quality platforms to enhance learning.

Open-Source LMS Platforms

These are LMS platforms whose source code is freely available to the public. Open-source LMS platforms allow users to modify and customize the software to suit their needs, fostering innovation and collaboration within the learning community. How to create an e-learning platform with minimal funds? An open-source LMS is a perfect choice.

Modern Learning Management Solutions (MLMS)

MLMS refers to advanced and feature-rich learning management systems incorporating interactive multimedia, social learning features, and advanced analytics. These platforms often offer a user-friendly interface and robust functionality to enhance the learning experience and provide comprehensive data insights. The increasing usage of novel multimedia tools represents the evolution of learning systems and their transition toward advanced teaching methods. MLMS is the future of learning in the modern world.

LMS Ecosystem or Learning Management Ecosystems

LMS ecosystems refer to integrated systems or platforms providing a comprehensive range of learning tools and services. They typically include features like content creation and management, assessment tools, learner analytics, and integration with other educational technologies to create a holistic learning environment. The idea is to offer everything a teacher and a student may need to perform high-quality lessons.

Custom-Built Learning Platform

A custom-built learning platform refers to a learning management system that is specifically designed and developed to meet the unique requirements of a particular educational institution or organization. These platforms are tailored to align with the specific curriculum, instructional strategies, and administrative processes of the institution, providing a personalized and targeted learning experience. The problem with many off-the-shelf solutions is that they’re too general. How to build an online learning platform fitting your needs? Address companies that know how to create custom products. We at Keenethics, for example, understand how to deliver software of this type. Are you interested? In that case, don’t hesitate to contact us!

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Must-Have E-learning Platform Features

Must-Have e-learning platform features

What are the key features to consider for an e-learning platform? How to build an e-learning platform that can deliver maximum usefulness for the clients? Here’s the list of the functions you need:

User-friendly interface

An e-learning platform should have an intuitive and user-friendly interface that allows learners to easily navigate and access course materials, assignments, and resources. Clear and organized layouts, simple menus, and easy-to-use features provide a positive learning experience. Why is this so important? People with different skill sets can access your platform: some may have great computer literacy, and others may have trouble understanding computers. The difference between age groups also is important: complex interfaces create a major barrier for older adults and children. What’s the rule of thumb here? The simpler, the better.

Multimedia support

E-learning platforms should support multimedia content such as videos, interactive presentations, and audio recordings to enhance engagement and understanding. The ability to incorporate visual and interactive elements enriches the learning experience and caters to different learning styles. Some people like learning from videos. Others find audio and images much more interesting. Allow everyone to maximize their skills.

Assessment and feedback tools

Effective e-learning platforms include built-in assessment and feedback tools. These features enable instructors to create quizzes, assignments, and exams to evaluate learners’ progress and provide timely feedback. Such tools foster active learning and help track performance and understanding for students. They’re also great for the teachers. Why? These tools minimize the amount of time one needs to spend to create quizzes, for instance. This offers a chance for instructors and teachers to learn more about ways to enhance their professional knowledge. Instead of spending time on routine tasks, such as assessments, they get a chance to improve their knowledge of many key processes.

Collaboration and communication tools 

E-learning platforms should provide features for learners to interact with instructors and peers, such as discussion forums, messaging systems, and virtual classrooms. These collaboration tools facilitate group discussions, knowledge sharing, and real-time communication, promoting an interactive and social learning environment. Why are they so important? Such tools enable users to receive relevant feedback regardless of their location. With collaboration and communication tools, one can study from any location. They remove all limits, making education as accessible as possible.

Best E-Learning Platforms

Are you interested in e-learning platform development? An important practice to consider is the analysis of the existing success cases:


Coursera is a popular e-learning platform that offers a wide range of courses from top universities and institutions worldwide. It’s successful due to its extensive course catalog, high-quality instructional materials, and interactive learning features. Coursera’s partnerships with prestigious universities and industry leaders contribute to its credibility, making it a trusted platform for learners seeking academic and professional development opportunities.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a non-profit e-learning platform known for its extensive collection of educational videos and interactive exercises. It offers free, accessible education for learners of all ages. Why is it so successful? The key positives of this platform include comprehensive content coverage, clear explanations, and adaptive learning features. Khan Academy’s mission to provide free education to anyone, anywhere, has made it a widely utilized and respected platform.


Docebo is a versatile learning management system (LMS) platform that offers customizable e-learning solutions for businesses and organizations. It’s successful due to its user-friendly interface, robust course creation and management features, and powerful analytics tools. Docebo’s flexibility and scalability make it a preferred choice for companies seeking to effectively deliver and track employee training and development programs.


edX is a renowned e-learning platform founded by Harvard University and MIT. It hosts a vast array of courses, including both free and paid options, covering diverse subjects. edX’s success stems from its prestigious university partnerships, rigorous course content, and interactive learning experiences. The platform’s commitment to providing accessible education and its focus on verified certifications make it highly regarded among learners and employers. One of the most famous programming courses in the world, CS50, appeared for the first time on this platform.


SkillShare is an e-learning platform that focuses on creative and practical skills. It offers a vast library of courses taught by industry professionals. SkillShare’s success lies in its engaging and project-based learning approach, allowing learners to apply what they’ve learned in real-world scenarios. The platform’s affordability, community features, and emphasis on hands-on learning make it appealing to individuals seeking to enhance their professional or creative skills.

Comparison of Coursera vs. Udemy

Coursera and Udemy have similarities and differences: both platforms are education-centric but target slightly different needs. Coursera primarily partners with renowned universities and institutions to offer curated courses, often focusing on academic subjects. It emphasizes structured learning with a set start and end date, providing certifications upon completion. In contrast, Udemy is an open marketplace where anyone can create and sell courses on various topics, including professional development and hobbies. It delivers a vast library of courses with lifetime access, allowing learners to learn at their own pace. Udemy courses are typically more affordable and suited for self-directed learners, while Coursera provides a more structured and academic learning experience. Why are those platforms so important from the standpoint of business? They give strong insights on how to create an e-learning platform.

How to Create an E-learning Platform?

How to Create an E-Learning Platform?

If you’re interested in e-learning platform development, it’s crucial to understand what features make them successful in the first place. Here’s the list of the key aspects one should add to the relevant platforms to make them successful:

1. Comfortable search features

Many courses are notable for the tremendous amount of information they contain. In this light, allowing users to find the things they need fast is essential. A good search feature is central to such goals.

2. User-friendly authentication

E-learning platforms must be user-friendly. Authentication is one of the aspects that should offer an accessible experience. Why? The faster the person transitions to learning, the easier it’s to attract their attention and ensure long-term interest in the relevant service.

3. Customizable user profile

A big aspect of many courses is the ability to personalize one’s experience. Allow all users to customize their profiles. One should be able to choose the relevant visuals and present some high-quality configuration (for instance, regarding learning preferences).

4. Easy tools for creating courses

Any user who wants to deliver their knowledge to others should be able to do so without major barriers. A vital goal for all e-learning platforms is to have instruments that make course creation as easy as possible.

5. An informative dashboard

Modern computer-centric tools offer a perfect opportunity to collect vast sets of data. A dashboard is a great way to organize all this information for students and teachers. For instance, one can put information about the learner’s successes and course participation into such a dashboard.

6. Comfortable course enrollment

As we’ve mentioned before, the faster you let a person start learning, the better. In this light, the key feature you should consider is fast course enrollment. One must have an opportunity to begin studying in several clicks.

7. Informative course profiles

A big aspect that ensures the readiness of a person to select a course is its description. A good description can easily attract people even to the most strange topics. To give the course creators an opportunity to capitalize on the first impressions, we recommend investing in tools that allow the creation of high-quality course profiles. You can never make a wrong choice concerning customization.

8. Convenient payment system integration

Let’s return to ease of use once again. The fewer barriers you create, the better. In this regard, payment should be simple. If the customer encounters barriers while paying, they can lose interest. One must be able to pay for your service without encountering any major issues.

9. Informative notifications systems

Some students need reminders to study well. In this respect, our recommendation is to invest in the notifications systems. One should be able to get all the key messages via email or the internal frameworks of their smartphones. The more options to receive information you offer, the better.

10. Advanced administration tools

When you develop an e-learning platform, it’s crucial to ensure you have the tools to control it. Administration instruments are essential: you should have the means to resolve client problems, introduce changes to the interface, and delete offensive content. Without a centralized framework of control, your service is bound to fall into chaos.

11. Professional blog tools

If your service is big enough, you should have communication tools to target a large audience. Forums aren’t sufficient in this regard. What do we recommend? Try creating a blog platform where you may post all the key news about your service. A good idea is to offer blogs for the course creators: they’ll gain a great way to inform the clients and post informative content.

12. Government/business contact section

Many courses can be of great use to large organizations in the government or business structures. What do we recommend here? Add a section that outlines the key contacts for government and business partners. In this way, you’ll create a strong funnel for attracting a maximum number of promising clients.

13. Responsive support

Problems inevitably arise even in the best products. You should have a support department ready to resolve any problems the customers may encounter. As Hubspot, a large-scale marketing agency, notes in its blog, support departments are essential for business success. Interface-wise, our recommendation is to make the option of accessing support as visible as possible. The ability to resolve problems fast is likely to attract many potential customers.

How Much Does It Cost to Develop an E-Learning Platform?

The cost of developing an e-learning platform can vary depending on various factors. These include the platform’s complexity, features, customization requirements, technology stack, design, and development resources. On average, the costs for developing a basic e-learning platform may range from $10,000 to $50,000, while more advanced and customized platforms can cost upwards of $100,000 or more. It’s essential to consult with experienced developers and discuss your specific requirements to get an accurate estimate for your e-learning platform development project. In our service, an average hour of developer’s time amounts to prices between 25 and 50 dollars. If you’re interested, don’t hesitate to contact us about the relevant services.

Our Experience in E-Learning Platform Development

Keenethics has major experience in developing e-learning platforms. What do we mean by this? We’ve developed multiple e-learning projects over eight years of experience in the field. Among the projects that we’re proud of are apps such as Brainable and Let’s Start Coding. The primary app helps users improve their memory and logical thinking skills. The second one is about teaching children how to code via a set of simple concepts.


All in all, investments in learning platforms can pay off. Multiple companies have achieved success in this sector. We don’t recommend copying the existing solutions. But, if you know some niche, then it makes sense to invest in the sector to create a unique product. In case you want professional help with such development, don’t hesitate to contact us. We at Keenethics know how to deliver projects of the greatest quality. Address us, and we’ll offer advanced recommendations regarding your project in the online learning sector.

FAQs About Creating an Online Learning Platform

What do I need for an e-learning website?

To set up an e-learning website, you need a reliable hosting provider, learning management system (LMS) software and educational content.

What features should be present in an e-learning platform?

An e-learning platform should have features such as course management, multimedia support, assessments, progress tracking, and communication tools.

What’s the cost of an average e-learning platform?

The cost of an average e-learning platform can range from $10,000 to $50,000, depending on the platform’s complexity and features.

What’s the labor cost for development in the online learning sector?

Everything depends on the region and the relevant company. In the case of Keenethics, an hour of work on the part of the specialist costs between 25 and 50 dollars (depending on the skills of the involved individuals and the complexity of the work).

Do you want to create a potent e-learning platform?

Contact us: we can consult you on the relevant idea and provide specialists for development.

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