Today’s learners can enjoy access to the tons of information on the Internet, scattered across multiple platforms. A lot of educational mobile apps are emerging onto the market, with some of them replacing real teachers and others being solid supporting materials for offline studies.
Websites and apps with online courses like Udemy and Coursera are increasing, while some brick-and-mortar schools, universities and organizations are keeping up and developing their own platforms to enhance learners’ experience.
With such a rising popularity of learning apps, how can you still enter the market? Competing with Udemy may seem unreasonable, but offering something different can make sense. What exactly?
In this post, we’ll tell how to create an online learning website like Udemy and why you can still succeed in this competitive environment.
How Do Online Education Websites Work?
When Googling for the e-learning platforms, you’ll see that the market is dominated by Udemy, Coursera, edX, Khan Academy and some open courses from top universities. How do they work? Let’s take Udemy as an example.
Source: Google Play
Where Udemy Get Courses
Udemy positions itself as a democratic educational system that allows anyone to learn from their database of more than 20000 subject matter experts.
The platform negotiates directly with teachers, giving them tools like video, pdf docs and PowerPoint presentations to deliver educational content to their audiences. The marketing and distribution part lies upon the shoulders of the Udemy team.
How Udemy Earns Money: Business Models
The question is, where does the money come from?
In the case of Udemy, the platform can be used by teachers free of charge. However, 50% of your course sales drops into the pocket of Udemy. Given that there are millions of students, with each course price ranging from $9 to $300, you do the math. The company definitely makes big money.
Nevertheless, there are other ways to monetize an online education platform:
Corporate subscription. You can connect with universities and companies and invite them to educate their students/employees through your platform paying a subscription fee for using the software.
Freemium model. This model allows you to offer free courses but provides optional premium services: one to one lesson with a tutor, specific learning materials, and paid certifications. This model fitsself-paced courses, as no schedule and no online webinars are required.
Advertising. Advertising in mobile or web applications must not be annoying. However, displaying some relevant audience-specific banners, or promoting sponsored courses from companies can be reasonable.
How Can You Differentiate From Other Online Courses?
As I have said, the market is swarmed with offerings, and for some reason, people may think that entering this competition doesn’t make any sense.
Here are four reasons why you should make your own online courses website instead of connecting to the popular ones:
Many online courses are notorious for the questionable, thinly-sourced courses they offer. You can step into the industry by offering premium-level, properly checked courses. To ensure this quality, you can collaborate with educational institutions or large companies.
A lot of courses are quite generic, and most of the quality, in-depth courses are in English; the range of topics within the popular platforms like Udemy are restricted. Finding your audience in unexplored regions or providing narrow-focused courses for the specific niche may make you a fortune in the eLearning business.
With your own custom platform, you can control customer policies and give publishers better conditions than other e-learning web apps offer. The same goes with the intellectual rights of the materials you provide, you know that it’s only you who owns the course—no one is authorized to take intellectual property that belongs to you.
The opportunity to learn on the go is priceless for modern learners. The least you can do is embrace users of the web version and allow them to tap into a mobile version. Further, users will appreciate the opportunity of mobile-only courses, empowered with AR, VR or other innovative marketing shticks.
Minimum Tech Stack Required to Build an MVP For an Education Website
Now that it makes sense to start your own educational platform, let’s see how to do it. We’ve analyzed the tech stack of Udemy to find out what technologies can be used for an educational platform development.
The backend part is a server component of a learning management system that allows creating and delivering courses, managing users, storing data, sending notifications, etc.
According to Freelance, Udemy backend is written in Python with an in-house MVC framework that allows them to customize the system according to the changing user needs.
The frontend part involves a user interface that is displayed in a browser allowing learners, teachers and website admins to complete their tasks.
Database and Infrastructure
As for the database, Udemy uses MySQL. They also use Cloudflare as a content delivery network and Fastly as a cloud platform to manage the big workload produced by multiple users on the website.
Moreover, to build an eLearning platform, you’ll normally need various add-ons, plugins, and APIs that connect the system with third-party tools.
How Much Would It Cost to Develop an Elearning Website?
In order to create a website like Udemy, you’ll need to follow at least these steps:
- Research your audience and subject matter, and build a UX strategy.
- Work on the web design of an interface.
- Create an eLearning platform or use an existing one.
- Choose or develop a cloud-based LMS.
- Choose or develop authoring tools including those for video, audio, graphics. etc.
- Connect the system with external tools, as needed.
- Develop a mobile app or a mobile version of an eLearning website.
Lately, we have taken up some challenging and interesting projects in edtech, including online learning platforms. Check out some of our case studies:
- Online learning platform for marketing courses.
- Workfusion Academy—online learning platform for automation courses.
Your requirements may differ from those we described, they may include many more features and entail additional costs. If you want to get an exact estimate for your project and find a solution that fits your budget, please contact us for a free consultation.