Online education is a lucrative industry and is quickly gaining huge momentum with the rising popularity of eLearning platforms like Udemy. The eLearning industry is expected to hit $240 billion by 2023. The online learning space is witnessing a phenomenal boom as more people are inclined towards convenient learning and many universities are extending their support to reach out to a broad range of students through their online courses.
Moreover, the learners are also aspiring to learn online courses from global experts without spending a lot of money on education. In fact, such a boom of eLearning is attained with eLearning platforms like Udemy, Skill share, and more. ELearning platforms are online learning marketplaces where teachers can upload their courses and students can sign up for eCourses across different domains. ELearning marketplaces allow students to learn at their pace and master the skills in a given field. Such platforms also offer corporate packages for business organizations to train their employees with innovative skill sets. Moreover, investors also bring more funds into the eLearning platforms by seeing the lucrative success of sites like Udemy.
How to create an eLearning platform?
Considering the huge potential of the market, you may want to develop an eLearning website. However, it’s not an easy task to get all the essential features like Udemy in the initial stage of development. To achieve success, you need to do continuous development to enrich the user experience by adding new features according to your specific project requirements. If you are influenced by the eLearning concept and want to launch your online learning platform like Udemy, you need to know how these platforms work and what development method to choose- Custom eLearning development or a readymade online software. Before going into all of that, let’s start by understanding the business model of eLearning solutions.
The working of eLearning websites is simple and straightforward. eLearning platforms like Udemy have a multi-sided revenue model with two user sections like educators and students. Educators are teachers who create online courses in the fields in which they have expertise. Students are learners who are keen to learn the courses and gain expertise in a given field.
The platform offers essential tools to create and deliver courses to users. In most cases, the eLearning platform handles marketing and distribution as well.
Selecting the right business model is the foremost thing you need to decide as it not just influences how your platform works and what features it will have but also how you generate revenue through your website. You also have to select your Learning management system (LMS) or you want to select a readymade platform or build your own cloud-powered LMS.
Here are some of the various ways by which your eLearning platform makes money.
Subscription-based revenue model
In this business model, the users can access your platform for a monthly subscription or a yearly one. Once the users are subscribed to the platform, they can enjoy unlimited access to the platform and all the courses. By this way, users don’t have to pay every time to access a course, they can pay a small fee and access all the courses on the platform.
Your eLearning platforms can establish collaborations with various universities and educational institutions and offer the students paid certifications once they complete the course. Paid certificates are a channel to receive a steady amount of revenue coming in every time.
Paid eLearning courses
When the learners buy a paid eLearning course, a portion of the money earned goes to the teacher who has uploaded the courses and the remaining portion will go to the site owner.
Business organizations and corporations partner with eLearning platforms to train their employees in a centralized way. Through this type of collaboration with corporates, your platform can generate revenue.
You can create affiliate partnerships with other businesses to pay advertising the courses. In this business model, you place their website link on your website. Maybe on the course page and once the user purchases from the link, you earn a commission for the same. You can allow teachers to take control of the ad program and affiliate.
Common features to integrate into your eLearning platform
Every project is unique, so is your eLearning platform. Hence, your eLearning platform needs to have some essential features that will be useful for all your users. Here are some of the common features for your Udemy like eLearning website.
Allowing your users to create an account in your learning platform is essential to customize their user experience on the website. It is an important feature as it helps your users to upload and join the courses and learn at their convenience.
Profile management is another significant feature of your online education website. Users must be able to create a profile in your platform and must be able to manage the profile like adding or removing courses, follow instructions, manage the certifications, pay or the course, etc. Find effective ways to create your learning platform with an efficient profile management module.
Search and filters
If your eLearning platform has a broad course library with many courses, you need a feature that will allow your users to browse and choose the courses they like. Users must be able to browse, categorize, and filter the search for efficient results.
This feature will display similar courses to your users to the ones they have already signed up for. This will make it easy for your users to find more courses that can help them to improve their skills.
The most important feature for educators is the ability to create courses and update it. The teachers must be able to create courses on your platform based on their expertise. Besides course creation, you must allow them to update the existing courses with revised content as well.
The dashboard is an essential feature that is critical for teachers to track the courses they have created and uploaded, the total number of students signed up for the courses, the money earned, and an overall insight of all their activities on the eLearning platform.
Not all courses on your website will be free. Hence, you need to integrate simple payment gateways to make it easy for your users to enroll in their favorite courses. To allow your users to pay for the premium courses they like, your platform must need a secure payment integration. Make sure the payment options you add to your site are commonly available and are easy to handle.
What to choose- readymade solutions or custom eLearning development
The decision to choose between readymade eLearning solutions or custom eLearning development depends on many factors including the niche you operate in, the type of audience you are catering to, and the intent of the eLearning business.
Custom eLearning development is tailored to address the specific requirements of each business. Each business is unique in their own way, the eLearning platform they need to launch must be solely based on the culture and system of the organization. Choosing a custom eLearning development is the best way to go for it.
However, custom eLearning course development is an elaborate process and is the most expensive way of development. However, recent advancements in technologies have made the development of eLearning platforms is significantly easier with widely available tech. White label solutions or readymade scripts are ideal for businesses that have budget and time restrictions. As readymade solutions can be used again for different users, they are really cost-effective. Moreover, you can leverage the individual components and modules for different contexts as it will save a great deal of time and money.
Custom eLearning development
This is the best way for businesses that want to launch large scale eLearning websites according to their specific requirements. If you are a well-established educational tech entrepreneur, you may consider this as you can afford an in-house development team.
You can develop your eLearning platform based on a development framework according to your tech stack. Technical considerations can be LAMP, MEAN, MERN, or even Python-Django. The framework you choose will help you to add new features in the future. It will also help you modify your eLearning platform without altering the existing code.
When you develop your eLearning platform from scratch, the cost will be comparatively high. The costs, including buying a tech stack, paying the development team, setup, hosting, implementation, etc. The overall development cost will always be on the higher side as development is a time-consuming process. Even a small project when developed from scratch will take at least 4-5 months to go live.
White label solutions or readymade scripts are self-hosted scripts that can be used to create websites like Udemy and Coursera effortlessly at a reasonable rate. To develop your Udemy-like eLearning platform from a readymade solution, you need not master coding skills or have to possess an advanced level of technical expertise.
The ready to launch eLearning platform comes with inbuilt features like integrated LMS platform, advanced tools, payment integrations, etc. These readymade scripts will be open source so that you can easily edit, alter, and customize your website according to your requirements and goals.
Benefits of using readymade solutions to launch your eLearning platform
Using online training software to build your eLearning platform is the most feasible and cost-effective way to build your website. Readymade scripts are powered by eLearning focused themes, features, databases, monetization strategies, etc.
Quick and easy to brand
Readymade scripts offer benefits if you want to add new features to your learning platforms. The scripts are already fully integrated and readymade; making the branding easier. Moreover, you can add your own branding and identity easily without spending more time and money on research.
Essential features and customization
Readymade eLearning solutions offer all essential features that are required to build a full-fledged eLearning platform. It is also possible to customize the script to add the features your business requires.
No advanced technical skills required
To build your eLearning website using a white label solution no advanced technical skills are needed as there is not much coding involved. When it comes to creating an eLearning platform, both setup and installation are easy.
Readymade eLearning scripts are scalable enough to accommodate hundreds of users. If you want to attract a wider user base to your eLearning platform, white label solutions are the best bet.
Saves time and money
While developing your eLearning platform from scratch takes a large amount of time and money, building it using a readymade solution helps to save you time and money. If you need a fast deployment and need to be speedy, investing in a readymade solution will prove to be more cost-effective.
Allows you to focus on your business
In most cases, businesses get lost in the eLearning development process and fail to focus on the core competency. It’s not a smart idea to stretch your time, money, and resources to do something that doesn’t fit your core competency. Readymade solutions allow you to build your website effortlessly and to focus on the core competency of your business. Readymade scripts help you to utilize the unique branding of your business without investing a lot in development or infrastructure. Instead, you can focus on creating your brand and selling your services.
ELearning business is a huge market with a lot of potential and lucrative monetization opportunities. When you want to develop your eLearning platform, the most common ways are to develop it from scratch and to use readymade solutions. Both readymade solutions and custom eLearning platforms come with their own advantages and disadvantages. To decide what development method to choose, you need to consider the specific needs of your business and your goals.
A readymade script would be the best bet as it comes with the flexibility to customize the script to suit your requirements of any level. However, if readymade solutions are not able to deliver the best user experience you desire, consider spending a few extra bucks on custom eLearning course development.