With so many online learning sites all across the web, you can learn just about anything these days, from anywhere — all without worrying about attending college or taking classes. As a teacher myself, I’ve seen how far online courses have come over the years, now aptly equipped with features like video streaming, notes, resources, discussion forums, notes, practice exercises, teaching assistance help, and other features that enhance your learning experience. Not only that, the number of platforms providing online courses has increased immensely in recent years, and you can possibly find hundreds of resources and courses on a single topic, and even more.
But with this many options, it gets really hard to decide which online courses websites to choose and which platform will be best suited for you. Some online learning sites are designed for professionally skilled people and teach updated skills for those further along in their careers. Some online course websites cater to beginners looking to add new skills or jump into a new career. Others still are just for those looking for the best online courses that will let them explore a hobby, like cooking or photography.
To help you make sense of it all, I’ve reviewed and ranked the best online courses websites on a variety of factors, including the quality and quantity of their classes, value, instructor credentials, ease of use, and more (click here to learn about our entire Editorial Process & Methodology for product reviews). Our editorial team has also updated this guide for 2023 to include all of the latest info you need to decide which online learning platform is the best fit.
What are the Best Online Courses Websites?
Skillshare is the ultimate website for learning just about anything imaginable. You can explore 30,000+ online classes across countless categories, from business to hobbies and more.
Skillshare, with its wide catalog, offers 35,000 plus learning videos which are spread across Create, Build and Thrive perspectives. This wide range of classes has made Skillshare one of the most popular websites for online learning.
I’ve found it’s a great platform for creative people who are looking for a thriving environment to learn, enhance and beautify their artistic skills whether it is illustration, education, proofreading, photography, digital marketing, voice over training, instructional design, UX design, or web design.
Skillshare offers a one-month free trial, which is a great way to check out some free online courses and see if it’s a good choice.
Overall, it’s an attractive option for passionate learners of creative skills. See our Skillshare review for more details.
- Digital Illustration for All
- Productivity Masterclass: Create a Custom System that Works
- Character Animation Basics
- Discovering Success: 7 Exercises to Uncover Your Purpose, Passion & Path
- Style Your Space: Creative Tips and Techniques for Interior Design
- Bite-sized classes for busy learners
- Thousands of classes
- Free trial
- Large catalog of videos
- iOS/Android smartphone apps
- Top topics to choose Skillshare for: film, writing, tech, lifestyle, photography, & Illustration.
Skillshare pricing includes a one-month free trial where you can take unlimited classes. After that, the price is currently $165 per year, which works out to $13.75/month averaged out. A $29 monthly option is also available at this time.
MasterClass offers courses taught by the world’s most recognizable celebrities in experts covering a wide range of topics from cooking, gardening, and meditation to science & well-being.
MasterClass (review) features instructors include huge names, such as Gordon Ramsay, Bill Clinton, Margaret Atwood, Samuel L Jackson, Natalie Portman, and Serena Williams, to name just a few. It’s this access to such reputable instructors that makes MasterClass one of the best online courses websites out there. I haven’t found another platform that compares when it comes to the star power MasterClass brings to the table.
These classes are taught in bite-sized learning lessons of premium quality, and you can stream Masterclass on your TV, phone, tablet, or computer.
Each class hosts video lectures, class workbook documents, interactive designed assignments, and community activities depending on the type of course.
I will say that the classes here aren’t always the most in depth. It’s great for picking up some new skills for a hobby or personal growth, but you’re probably not going to become a true master at the topic.
- Annie Leibowitz Teaches Photography
- Robin Roberts Teaches Effective and Authentic Communication
- Massimo Bottura Teaches Modern Italian Cooking
- Ron Finley Teaches Gardening
- Alicia Keys Teaches Songwriting and Producing
- Stream classes on mobile devices, computers, and TVs
- Celebrity instructors
- One-to-One instructor-student interaction periodically
- Toll-free phone support
- Cross-platform support
MasterClass pricing includes an all-access pass starting at $120 per year for unlimited access to courses & content.
You can access thousands of professionally taught courses by top course instructors of top-notch universities via Coursera on almost any topic you want.
With Coursera, you can learn from some of the best universities of the world, such as Yale, Columbia, John Hopkins, & Duke.
Coursera has launched degrees virtually provided by top-pick universities. There are many online certificate courses you can take to build valuable in-demand skills.
Its course topic spectrum is spread out wide and ranges from public health, science, tech, languages, social sciences, art, fiction, to personal development. All courses facilitate completion certificates so you can mention it on your LinkedIn & resume to showcase your professional development.
Course structure includes recorded videos, accompanied with transcription of the video, notes, resources, assignments, quizzes, and discussion forum availability for involved learning.
- Data science certificate
- Google IT support certificate
- On science of well-being
- Deep learning certificate & specialization
- Free online courses
- Top universities partnership
- Wide range catalog
- Fully online certificate & degrees
Coursera pricing for courses ranges from $29-$99 each for certification, though you can audit any class you want for free. Your best bet is to try Coursera Plus, which gives you access to thousands of classes all included in a subscription for $59 a month or $399 a year.
With more than 100,000 courses, frequent sales, and a wide range of courses available online, Udemy is one of the largest platforms with the cheapest prices, making it an affordable course provider for all sorts of learners looking to pick up new skills.
Udemy has more than 30 million, and it facilitates courses in more than 50 languages.
Its topic range is extensive, from boot camp coding learning to in-depth art classes.
- Complete Python Bootcamp
- Complete Character Drawing Course
- MBA in 1 Course
- Learn Ethical Hacking From Scratch
- Beginner to Pro in Excel: Financial Modelling and Valuation
- Extensive course catalog
- Well organized content
- Smartphone app compatibility
- Helpful reviews
- Languages compatibility ( more than 50 languages)
- Low prices, Frequent sales ( prices as low as $10.99)
Udemy pricing varies by individual course. Sign up & buy or gift individual courses, or get enrolled in one of the free courses.
LinkedIn Learning is the top pick for corporate professional learners. It’s a subscription-based online learning platform that facilitates more than 18,000 courses to its users.
From business development, marketing, and finance to coding and time management tutorials, it has courses in all career-focused niches for individuals who are seeking to enhance their skills to be successful in their careers.
The course structure is designed in bite-sized videos with quizzes,& assignments, offering you a convenient learning experience. This course structure allows you to learn skills even when you are busy so that you never stop learning and improving.
Courses are certificate-focused which can be featured on your resume and LinkedIn profile.
- Marketing & Communications
- Courses on building Strategic Thinking
- How to Communicate with Confidence
- Improving Interpersonal Communication
- Building Self-Confidence
- Professionally designed, constructed, and conducted via expert teachers of that field.
- Learning Flexibility ( smartphone compatibility, audio-only option, offline learning option, bite-sized videos)
- Offers one-month free trial
- Annual savings option
- Detailed preview of the content
- Completion certificates
- Great for professional upskilling
If you’re looking to start a career in software development or simply want to enhance your existing skills, there’s no better place to turn to than the Educative platform.
With a wide range of online courses and tutorials, you can learn the ins and outs of programming in a variety of languages, as well as delve into topics such as web development and mobile app development.
Whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced software developer looking to expand your skillset, Educative has everything you need for professional development in your field. With a clear and concise approach to teaching, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the world of computer science in no time.
Learning tech skills is never an easy task, and trying to do so through video courses can often leave you feeling frustrated and unfulfilled. With video classes, you’re just watching, you’re not actually doing.
Fortunately, the team at Educative understands this better than anyone, which is why they’ve gone above and beyond to create text-based, interactive courses that not only teach you through reading, but also give you hands-on experience. With the added convenience of a cloud-based development environment, you can code mid-course from any device, whether that’s your phone, tablet, or laptop. So say goodbye to mindless video watching and hello to a new way of learning that will leave you feeling confident and accomplished.
- Grokking Coding Interview Patterns in Python
- Learn Python 3 from Scratch
- Data Structures and Algorithms in Python
- Interactive, text-based courses let you code and learn in real-time
- Developer-centric approach puts your skills to the test while you learn
- Learn anytime, anywhere
- Interview prep gets you ready to land a job in the field
- Expert guidance and feedback as you learn
- Over 600 interactive courses to choose from
- Skills Paths and Personalized Learning Paths available
Educative offers a few different plans to choose from:
- Standard (starting as low as $14.99/month)
- Premium (starting as low as $20.99/month)
- Premium Plus (starting as low as $24.99/month)
When it comes to the best online course websites, The Great Courses can’t be left off the list.
With The Great Courses, you can enjoy college-level classes on a variety of subjects, ranging from geology to art to history and everything in between. All of the 800+ courses are taught by expert, highly-rated professors.
One of the things that sets The Great Courses apart from others on this list is there are both online and offline options for watching classes.
The Great Courses has apps for iOS, Android, Roku, and Kindle Fire along with My Digital Library on the web, allowing you to enjoy your courses from wherever you want. You can also order the lessons on DVD if you prefer that format.
The classes are all sold on an a la carte basis, so there’s no subscription to worry about. You just pay for the classes you want to take and enjoy them at your own pace.
- Learning Spanish: How to Understand and Speak a New Language
- Learning to Play Guitar: Chords, Scales, and Solos
- Wonders of the National Parks: A Geology of North America
- How to Paint
- Dog Training 101
- Fundamentals of Photography
- Understanding Investments
- The Science of Gardening
- America’s Founding Fathers
- Vast course catalog
- In-depth, quality courses taught by university professors
- Available streaming on multiple devices or on DVD
- No subscription to worry about
Classes are sold individually at various prices depending on the topic.
edX, founded by Harvard & MIT offers classes from leading top universities, non profit educational institutes and now it is the only Massive Open Online Courses( MOOC) platform whose courses are non-profit and open-source.
Its institutional partners, of more than 100, include Berkeley, MIT, and Harvard.
edX has thousands and thousands of courses available all open-sourced on topics ranging from arts, economics, finance, law, email marketing, coding, computer science, and architecture, so you can build new skills in no time.
The edX platform has courses available for both beginners and experts and, classes are free to audit.
If you do want a certificate proving that you have completed the course, there is an upgrade option with fees that vary depending on the course at hand.
Degree programs such as MicroMasters, masters are also hosted by edX, aside from professional certificate courses.
See our edX review to learn more.
- Leading university content
- Free, open sources courses
- Micro degree offerings
- Masters Program
- Certificate Courses
- Smartphone apps compatibility
- Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python)
- CS50’s Introduction to Computer Science
- The Foundations of Happiness at Work
- Leading High-Performing Teams
- Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies
Sign up, and enroll for its free to enroll and audit courses, except for professional education programs. Add a verified certificate (which you can mention to LinkedIn and your resume), there is a charge (edX pricing is typically between $50-$300, depending on the course).
FutureLearn is just like edX and Coursera, offering thousands of free-to-access courses, paid certified programs offered by top universities, and institutions.
FutureLearn is hosted from England, hence its course offering is more widespread from within UK universities as compared to other platforms like edX and Coursera.
From short courses. Micro-credentials programs, Expert Tracks, & Online Degrees, FutureLearn has everything you need to gain new skills in a range of subjects.
- Teaching English Online
- Computer Programming for Everyone
- COVID-19 Critical Care: Understanding and Application
- A History of Royal Fashion
- Mindfulness for Well-being and Peak Performance
- Leading partnerships with the university.
- In-depth learning
- It emphasis on teaching skills
- Free track available
Sign up and audit courses for free ( for up to 5 weeks). Its paid programs are for individual courses. For unlimited access sign up for it for $39.99 per month. Check out our FutureLearn pricing guide for more info.
Udacity offers courses focused on software development, programming, web development and data science.
Education-focused for business and tech, programs like nanodegrees are unique to Udacity.
Nanodegrees teaches a job/skills focused certificate program in a way different from college degrees. You can achieve full-level mastery in tech and pave the way for your full-time tech career with Udacity.
Udacity facilitates mastery and interactive learning via interactive feedback. It is a one-to-one interaction method that lets you get your project and assignments directly evaluated and critically evaluated by the instructor. However, the cost of these services can be a barrier for most people.
If you are someone who wants to develop their web development, programming, data science, and computing skills. Udacity is the best shot you have got and has some of the best online classes in these categories.
See our Udacity review to learn more.
- Become a Marketing Analyst – Nanodegree.
- Become a UX Designer – Nanodegree.
- Become a Data Scientist – Nan degree.
- Become a Robotics Software Engineer – Nanodegree.
- Applying Data Science to Product Management – Udacity Courses.
- AI For Business Leaders – Udacity Courses.
- Frequent Discounts
- Interactive feedback
- Educational partnerships
- Tech Expert focused
Udacity pricing now includes the newAll Access subscription plan, available at a monthly rate that varies depending on the chosen plan’s duration, ranging from $199 to $249 per month.
OneDayU is a mix of traditional academic platforms with TED Talks. OneDayU hosts experts from top-notch universities like Harvard, Yale, and Columbia who speak and educate learners on a range of topics from how music shapes the brain to watching movies like film professors.
It’s one of the best options out there for nerdy learners who want to learn something new all the time, but don’t like to do assignments or projects. Each lecture usually is 60 mins long.
- Creative and New set of Knowledge
- Great for people with High openness
- Offers learning in a non-traditional way (does not involve assignments and quizzes).
- The Science of Happiness
- The Art of Ageing
- The Mind of Abraham Lincoln
- The 5 Most Powerful People in the World
- A 400-Year History of Religion in America
Sign up with your email address and get a free two-week trial. After that, you’ll be charged $9 per month. Sign up for a yearly plan for an additional discount on your monthly charges.
Codecademy is a programming-focused online learning platform for people who want to excel at programming languages, Data Science, & Web Development. Simply put, if you’re looking to advance your coding skills, this is where you’ll find the best online classes.
Career Paths are also offered by Codecademy in different sets of skills such as data science, web development, and a whole lot more. Skill paths are focused on specialization in specific skills for short-term goals and professional development. Skill Paths have varying difficulty levels within it, and you can take a quiz to determine your current skill set to move further up from there.
- Learn Python 3
- Learn HTML
- Front-End Engineer Career Path
- Data Scientist Career Path
- Offers Career paths in Tech
- Skills path for specialization in specific skill
- Provides scholarships to eligible students
- Teaches more than 12 programming languages
There’s a limited free option, but in most cases, you’ll want to upgrade to a paid plan. Codecademy pricing has a few different pricing options available for individuals as well as student plans. All in all, you can expect to pay between $14.99 to $39.99 a month depending on the plan you choose and its duration.
How I Chose The Best Online Course Websites
With so many different online learning sites available, it can be hard to know where to start! I’ve done all the heavy lifting for you by narrowing down my list and comparing numerous platforms.
While there is no single online learning platform that’s perfect for everyone, I’ll help guide your search so you can easily find a suitable fit based on your specific educational needs.
We’ve evaluated those options based on a number of factors described below:
Online education platforms have varying options in terms of pricing. Options include free courses, free audits, monthly subscriptions, and yearly subscriptions.
Content on different online education platforms varies as some focus on specific areas such as artistic and creative learning, or coding languages, or business-focused skills learning.
The quality of online courses is vital. Some platforms are intensely enrolled, making course content generalized or kept at the preference of depth and difficulty preferred by most of the enroller. On the other hand, there are platforms that partner with specific universities to teach the content of the course.
Other features such as smartphone compatibility, certificate, and degree certification also need to be evaluated for formal education purposes.
What Are The Advantages Of Online Learning?
The advantages of online education are:
- Virtual learning comfort
- Adds impact and enhances your skillset for your job outlook.
- No time limit for course completion and signup
- Cheaper and sometimes even free to learn. It is cheaper than traditional learning.
Online courses make learning interactive, convenient, and affordable, facilitating casual and open learning for passionate seekers of knowledge in any subject area.
Our advice when searching for the best online learning platforms is to take advantage of the free trials offered by many of these sites. This gives you a chance to try things out to see which platform is right for you.
Have a question about the best online courses websites? Comment below and we’ll help you out.