online courses

4 Best e-commerce platforms for your online course website

E-commerce platforms are the best option for anyone looking to start any form of online business, especially one selling online courses. These platforms are inexpensive, convenient, and safe for beginners with little expertise in website design. Thanks to these platforms, you can offer your online course within minutes of paying your subscription fees! They cater to web hosting, e-commerce functionality, website design, and all the other things that would have you either breaking a sweat or adding thousands of dollars in web designers’ fees to your start-up costs. If you are looking for an excellent option to build your website on, below are some of the best e-commerce platforms in the market this year:

Shopify

Shopify is the number one choice for any entrepreneur wanting to start an online business. Over 800,000 stores currently run on the highly-rated platform, and many top brands like Budweiser have opted to use Shopify. This website builder is incredibly user-friendly, which means that running your front end will be relatively straightforward compared to other options. Some of the aspects that make Shopify the best choice for running an online course include:

  • An array of over 1,000 apps to increase your website’s functionality
  • Over 600 tech support experts
  • 7 free and over one hundred templates that you can apply to your website to make it appealing
  • Unlimited bandwidth and web hosting, so that your site never goes offline when there is plenty of traffic
  • SEO for more organic traffic to your website
  • Online payments integration, where you can use Shopify Payments or any of the most commonly used methods of payments (PayPal, Apple Pay, e.t.c.) and credit cards.

You can try Shopify’s 14-day free trial to get a feel of their incredible services, after which you can choose any of their paid plans that include web-hosting, set-up, and customer support. The plans you can choose from include:

  • Shopify Lite: $9 per month
  • Basic Shopify: $29/month. This package is often the best to start your online business with
  • Shopify: $79/month: this package offers you additional features, like professional reporting and gift card generation
  • Advanced Shopify: $299/month
  • Shopify Plus: pricing via quote

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BigCommerce

BigCommerce is another excellent site builder for you if you are a beginner or looking to  leap from online courses marketplaces. BigCommerce has all the hallmark features of a reliable e-commerce platform:

  • SEO tools
  • An app store with hundreds of apps for extended functionality
  • Analytics that help you track the behavior of site visitors
  • Payment gateway integration
  • Hundreds of customizable themes for website design
  • Excellent conversion and marketing tools

The biggest plus about BigCommerce is how loaded with features its default website is. You will not have to incur more monthly costs in integrating apps for the features you need to run your online course effectively. Like Shopify, it also has a free trial that you can try for 15 days. You can then choose between these plans:

  • Standard: $29/month; no transaction fee, 2.9%+ $0.30 per PayPal transaction
  • Plus: $79.95/month; no transaction fee, except 2.5%+ $0.30 per PayPal transaction
  • Pro: $249.95/month; no transaction fee except 2.2%+ $0.30 for all PayPal transactions

Wix

Yet another excellent website builder with quite the following (77 million users globally) and growing fast. With Wix, you do not need any prior experience with the platform or tech expertise; in a few minutes, you can sign up and have a website running. What’s more, they have loads of templates for your website listed in categories so that finding a relevant one will not take hours of headaches to find. Wix is the perfect site builder for you if you are looking for a cost-effective option. However, scaling your business with Wix may prove to be a challenge. Some features that make Wix the perfect choice include:

  • Dedicated 24/7 customer support
  • Mobile-responsive website
  • Drag-and-drop website design
  • Hundreds of templates and apps to customize your website appearance and function

Its pricing options include:

  • Wix Business Basic: $28/month, which can go down to $18 if you pay for three years upfront
  • Business Unlimited: $33/month, $22/month if paid for three years upfront
  • Business VIP: $56 monthly, drops to $38.50 if you pay for three years

The best option for you to start with would be Business basic. Business unlimited is more for users that prioritize branding because it offers free logos and other branding services. Business VIP offers priority customer support.

SquareSpace

If your course is going to appeal to the elite or clients that pay additional attention to website appearance, then Square is the site builder for you. As of 2016, it was hosting well over 1 million websites, having started in 2006 as a blog hosting service. SquareSpace offers its clients hundreds of beautiful themes to make your website look elegant and stand out from those of your competitors. You can also add images, videos, and texts to promote your course. It also offers you full access to business promotions like discounts and gift cards, free SSL for security, free domain, student accounts, and mobile-responsiveness, as well as integration with 3rd party applications for additional logistics.

Its price ranges are as follows:

  • Basic e-commerce plan: $30/month
  • Advanced e-commerce plan: $46/month

SquareSpace may come across as rather expensive, but the polished themes and easy site customization features it offers to make the cost worth it.

Conclusion:

The list above should help you narrow down your search for the most reliable site builder to run your online course on. Still, as it is with software, it is impossible to identify the magic bullet that will offer you all the features you need. Your best option will be one that fits your budget and business model and how you would like people to perceive your business.

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