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7 Easy Ways to Build Your eLearning Website like Udemy or Coursera

What's Inside

Education is probably the most important thing we need.

However, the traditional education system can get a little problematic. The growing cost of a college education is driving many to look for alternative educational platforms where they can get a high-quality education at no or low cost. And this is exactly why the craze to build e learning website like Coursera and Udemy have emerged in the market right now. 

When we are talking about education, we don’t mean only the traditional subjects. The fun thing about the various e-learning websites is the fact that one can learn anything from there. From math to programming to pottery making, all kinds of knowledge is available on these platforms. 

The rising popularity of e-learning websites definitely makes it a great idea for a business. Entrepreneurs are searching for a trusted web development company to get their idea manifested. However, the only question that remains is how to create a website like Udemy, Coursera, and alike? Well, if you are looking for answers, then you are definitely going to find them here. Let’s look at all the steps you need to follow to develop your e-learning website. 

talk about your project idea

Learn The Steps To Build eLearning Website like Udemy

Before we start discussing how to develop an e-learning website, let’s take a quick look at the steps we would have to follow. 

  1. Is your idea worth it? – Idea validation
  2. Learn how e-learning websites like Udemy work
  3. Choosing the business model
  4. The core features to implement
  5. Strategize UI/UX design
  6. Technology and tools you’ll need
  7. Know Your Competitors

Now that we have looked at the steps, it’s time to go through them to learn how to make a website like Udemy. So without much ado, let’s get started. 

1. Idea Validation – The Global Market View

It is no secret that the rising demands for efficient and low-cost training and education system are driving up the demand for e-learning websites like Udemy, Khan Academy, Coursera, etc. but in order to actually validate your idea, we have to look at the numbers. According to the stats, the global e-learning market size is going to reach $300 billion US dollars by 2025. 

stats to create a website like Udemy
Source: Gminsights

North America alone is going to constitute 40% of the entire 120 billion US dollar e-learning market by 2025. Technology such as Artificial Intelligence, AR, VR, machine learning, big data, machine learning is helping with the growth of the e-learning market. As these technologies grow more, they will only help with the growth of the e-learning market. All these reasons make the idea to build e learning website a brilliant one. 

2. How Websites Like Udemy work?

Currently, the market is full of e-learning websites. These websites are not only featuring lessons and tutorials from the individuals but also from various institutions as well. However, before we start with the development, it is important that we look at how online training sites like Udemy works. 

Udemy Website
Source: Udemy

The workings of e-learning platforms are pretty straightforward. The users simply sign up, create an account, and then they can start with searching for courses related to their field and interests and start learning. 
Udemy, as a platform, approaches teachers and instructors, providing them with various tools to create and deliver content for their users. The rest of the marketing and distribution is handled by the Udemy team. You can approach this matter in the same way, or you can give the instructors freedom to sign up on your website as instructors and start creating courses. Now, let’s look at the business models available for these websites.

3. Choosing the Business Model to Build e Learning Website

Choosing the business model is the first thing you need to get out of the way because this not only determines how you earn money through your platform but also your features. You also have to choose your LMS – if you want to choose a pre-built platform or create your own cloud-based LMS. Below we have talked about the probable business models for your e-learning website in detail. 

Business modelDescription
1. Paid CertificatesBesides the course costs, the users pay for a platform verified certificate that is accepted in various places.

Creating tie-ups with various universities and educational organizations and providing the learners with verified paid certificates will ensure that you have a continuous channel of revenue coming in.

2. Subscription-basedWith this model, the user buys paid subscriptions to the website on a monthly or yearly basis. Once they have bought a subscription, they can have unlimited access to the website and all its courses. This way the user will have to pay only a small amount of money to access all the information on the website.
3. Affiliate ModelIn the affiliate model, the courses can have integrated links for various books or equipment that the users might need to progress in that course.

Once the user follows the link to the e-commerce platform and makes a purchase, your website will gain revenue from it.

4. Corporate CollaborationThe corporate collaboration model is where you collaborate with any business organization to have some specific courses related to their operation.

The organizations can train their employees in a centralized way. And not to mention, this will also earn you a lot of revenue for your website.

5. Paid CoursesLast but not least is the paid course model, through which your website can earn serious revenue.

When the students purchase a paid course part of the revenue goes to the instructor who uploaded the course, and the rest will go to the website owner.

4. The Core Features To Implement

The core features are going to determine the success of your eLearning website. Carefully choosing and implementing the right features to your website is of utmost importance. While figuring out how to create an online learning platform like Udemy, you will realize that you can divide the core features into three segments.

speak with elearning project expert

The first being the common features, the second being the student profile features and the third being the teacher profile feature.

A. Common Features for Your Udemy like Website

The common features are the features that anyone using the website will find useful. The common features are going to be used by both students and instructors on your platform.

Account creation

The account creation feature is going to help the users, both the students and instructors to create their own accounts on the website and personalize their experience on the platform. It is a must-have feature, as it would help the users to manage the various courses they join and upload, and help the students to learn without any problem.

Profile management

Profile management is the next important and common feature you need for online training sites like Udemy. The users who create a profile using the appropriate information would be enabled to use the profile management feature to manage those details, add or remove the courses, manage the certificates and follow instructors as well. Look for ways to build e learning website with seamless profile management.

logout login udemy portal
Source: Udemy

Customer support

The customer support, like any other service, is going to be extremely important for your website. The feature will help the users to contact the customer support whenever they are experiencing any kind of problem with the website, whether it is accessing their account or uploading a course. 24/7 customer support will increase the user-friendliness of your website. 

Business collaboration

The online education websites like edX and Coursera have already benefited using this feature of business collaboration. Big companies and government organizations collaborate with online learning websites to introduce courses specific to that organization. 

This way they can train their employees in a centralized way and track the progress data. Through the business collaboration, you would not only earn a generous revenue but also be able to work in collaboration. It is possible if you build e learning website with popular business organizations to help you to increase the popularity of your website.  

B. Student profile features:

The students, who are going to sign up to your website to learn, need various features to make their experience better. Here are a few of the important student profile features you will need. 

Search, Category, and filtering

With so many courses available on the website, the students need a feature that will help them to sort out and find their desired course on the website. And for that they need a search, categorize and filtering feature. 

how to create a website like Udemy
Source: Udemy

The search bar or the search feature will enable the users to look for a specific course using specific keywords. The category feature will sort out the courses in several categories based on subject, prices, certification type, expertise level, etc. through the filtering feature, the students can filter through the categories and find the right course for them. 


The recommendation feature will show the users relevant courses to the ones they have already enrolled for. This will help them to discover more courses that can help them to advance their skillset. 

Tag following Before You Build e learning Website

The tag system is also another part of discovering new course features. The students on your website for online courses similar to Udemy can follow tags relevant to their field and whenever there are new courses added with that tag, the students can see it on their homepage or recommendations page.

Easy payment options for enrollment

There are going to be some courses that will be a paid course. And to pay for these paid courses, the user would need a secure payment option.

build e learning website like Udemy
Source: Udemy

Make sure that the payment options integrating on your website are easy to handle, and most of all secure. 

C. Instructor profile features

To make a functional website such as Coursera, you will need instructors who will upload new courses and content on a daily basis. And to do so, the instructors would need some important profile features. Here are two of the most important instructor profile feature you will need for eLearning website development. 

profile setting to build e learning website
Source: Udemy

Course creation and updates

The first and most important feature is the course creation and updates feature. The instructor should be able to create a course based on their expertise and skills. Along with course creation comes the feature to update the course with new content. 

Dashboard (includes- courses updated list/revenue/performance/insights)

The dashboard feature is necessary for instructors to keep track of the courses they have uploaded on the profile, the number of people who have enrolled for their courses, the amount of revenue that has been generated and an overall insight of all their activities on the website. 

5. How To Strategize the UI/UX design

The UI/UX is going to determine the success of your website. The ease and efficiency with which the user can navigate the website will help them decide if they want to keep on joining courses. So 

When designing the UI/UX for your website comparable to Udemy, make sure to consider the below-mentioned points.

A. Simplicity And Consistency

The first thing you have to consider when designing a website like Udemy is the simplicity and consistency of the design. 

Complex design, despite being attractive, does not do much when it comes to attracting users. The main visitors on your website are going to be students and instructors. And it would be efficient for them if the e learning design is simple. With simple navigational pointers along with easy to understand interface for the first-timers. 

tips to build e learning website
eLearning website Designed by Unified Infotech

Along with simplicity comes the matter of consistency. The website design, with its colors, themes and logo need to be consistent to give the user a sense of continuity. This will evoke a sense of trust among the users when you create a website like Udemy. 

B. The Visual Design

The visual design refers to the images, illustrations, and animations you will be using to make your website look unique, fun and interesting to the user. 

Even though it is essentially an educational website, i.e a website where users are coming for various skill training, it does not mean that the website has to be dull and boring. Through the use of colors and illustrations, you can make your website a fun and interesting one so that users want to visit every day. 

designs to build e learning website like udemy
Designed by Unified Infotech

However, you have to be careful about using colors and illustrations. There are distinct principles about color psychology you should look into before choosing colors. When it comes to the matter of images, refrain from using stock images. While these stock images might be of high quality and easy to acquire, they also seem unreal and therefore prevent the site visitors from trusting your website completely. 

C. Typography to Build e learning Website

Typography is a crucial part of the visual design. Even after having your website extremely well designed you have to make sure that the typography of your website is not only readable but visually appealing as well. Never forget that the text you put on your website also becomes a part of the SEO activity on part of your website.

Make sure to create the right combinations of typefaces for design elements. This way your website will not only be legible, but it will also be all-around successful. For a detailed guide on UI UX made by elite designers, visit this page.

D. Ease Of Loading And Navigation

The matter of UI/UX design is going to affect the ease of loading and navigation a great deal. And that’s why you need to ensure that any design element that you use is not affecting the loading time of your website. 

The images that are being used on your website should be compressed for faster loading time, while the use of animations should be limited, as they can affect the loading time as well.

Bonus Read: Create A Powerful Website that Converts With Our Web Design Principles

Navigating your website should be an easy task even for those who are using the site for the first time. According to the study, the ease of navigation affects how long the user might stay on the website.

To create a better navigational process for your website you might use the “three-click-rule”. This way the user will get all the important information they need only through three clicks. 

6. Technology Stack You Need to Create Platform like Udemy or Coursera

What kind of technical support do you need to build the backend? What goes into making the perfect MVC of an education website and launch it? Let’s find out the tech stack to create your own awesome eLearning solution.     

Requirements Tech stack
1. Frontend Javascript, bootstrap, CSS3, Angular.JS/React.JS
2. BackendNode.JS
3. FrameworkExpress
4. Database MySQL, MongoDB,
5. Online paymentPaypal, Stripe
6. Cloud storageCloudflare, AWS

Added to the above tech stack, you will also need many add-ons, plug-ins, and the third-party tools that will let you add additional functionalities on your website. Give extra importance to your database for e learning website.

7. Planning to Launch Your Own Website Like Udemy? Know Your Competitors

Before diving headfirst into the market, you should find out about the big guns in the market of the online learning website. The below-mentioned websites have been around for a long time and have made a mark on the industry. Let’s explore why they are unique and users love to create a course and learn.


Business model

Number of courses

Who is contributing?

Why is it different?

1. UdemyPaid courses100,000 online video coursesIndividual InstructorsUnlimited access to free courses, the paid courses are very reasonably priced.
2. CourseraPaid courses, Subscription-based, paid certificates3,600 (as of August 2019)UniversitiesBesides small courses, there are masters and bachelor’s courses available from top universities taught by university professors. 
3. Lynda.comSubscription-based7,961Individual InstructorsCourses created to enhance the real-life skills of the learners, helping them to get jobs in the relevant field of interest.
4. Khan AcademyDonation-based10,000 videos, 3,000 articles and 50,000 exercisesBoth Individual teachers and universities Covers a wide range of topics, makes the learner complete tasks during lessons, learning through the practical method.
5. UdacityPaid Nanodegrees200Universities Majorly focused on skill improvements, training programs supported by Salesforce, Facebook, Google.
6. Codecademy Paid advance courses66Individual InstructorsFocused on programming and coding, courses range from basic to advanced levels, includes certification based codes.
7. Bloc Paid courses5Individual instructorsMainly focuses on skill-building in programming, courses last for several months, a better options for a career change.
8. SkillshareSubscription-basedOver 22,000Individual instructorsCourses based on activity-based learning, courses taken by industry professionals.

Bottomline to Build E Learning Website

People are not solely dependent on schools and colleges to learn things. They are turning towards online websites to increase their education, and enhance their skill sets. And keeping that in mind, developing an online training site like Udemy is not a bad idea at all. 

Bonus Read: How Much Does it Cost to Create a Learning Website

Not only it is going to be beneficial for you, but it will also help those who need specific education or skill training but can not acquire it due to circumstances. The online learning websites like edX and Coursera are the embodiment of the progressive outlook today’s world has towards education. And when you create an online learning platform, you’ll become a part of that progressive outlook as well.

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