After years of dedication, you’ve established yourself as an authority in your area of expertise — Hooray!
Now you’re ready to pass on what you’ve learned to others, and you’ve decided that online courses are the best way to gain some exposure and pick up lots of students.
The only thing standing in the way of your pedagogic future is choosing a hosting/design platform for your course.
Two big hosting names in the industry right now are Memberfactory and Learnworlds, so there’s a good chance you’ve narrowed your options down to these two platforms, which is why I’m pitting them against one another in a comprehensive head-to-head showdown!
Stick with me, and you’ll find the best hosting service for your educational mission in no time from Memberfactory Vs Learnworlds!
Although these two platforms seem to accomplish the same general duties, right from the get-go, there are some key differences you should know about before making your decision — In terms of course creation, Memberfactory and Learnworlds are like night and day!
Positioned as a quick-start option, while you can tweak this and that to suit your and your prospective clientele’s tastes, you won’t have an opportunity to tailor everything to your target audience on Memberfactory.
Don’t get me wrong, there are still some pretty neat appointments such as the option to attach lesson reference material to your videos, and offer lesson completion bonuses, but this platform just isn’t as fleshed out as you might want it to be in terms of course creation.
At its core, Memberfactory is a membership site builder and host, meaning it’s more of a catchall solution to membership site management.
Learnworlds, by contrast, is an online course membership program specialist that offers your subscribers all the educational tools you could possibly think of to aid in their learning journey.
Both platforms offer the very basic stuff such as unlimited content hosting, which is of course imperative to those hoping to upload multiple video lessons and educational PDFs, but Learnworlds really goes above and beyond to make your courses the best out there!
Choosing Learnworlds means you’ll be able to stream live classes, meetings, and webinars, offer your students a grade book; add an interactive element to your videos via buttons, labels, questions, etc.; auto-grade exams, offer pop quizzes, and watermark-protect your content.
And that’s not an exhaustive list either. A feature I absolutely fell in love with was the question bank that allows you to make a pool of questions you can then randomize to form either a quiz or an exam automatically.
What’s more, it supports both SCORM and HTML5 files to give your assignments some versatility.
For example, you can add open-ended questions to diversify the learning experience.
This feature-rich approach to membership site creation does make Learnworlds far more complex to wrap your head around when you’re just starting out, but if you’re willing to put in some time and effort, you can master it relatively quickly.
From then on, you can use every tool on offer to make your online course the most engaging, valuable, and rewarding experience it could possibly be.
There is, however, one area that Learnworlds misses the mark on.
free courses. On a subscription plan, you cannot offer any freebies, which can make drawing in new students a little harder.
Site Design & Building
Memberfactory is all about providing an effortless user experience, helping you establish your online courses quickly without having to learn any complicated building techniques specific to the platform’s ecosystem.
Using the 4-step setup wizard, you can have a membership project up and running in next to no time.
Theme and layout templates are all pro-grade and very eye-catching, and there’s even some wiggle room for customizability, the operative word there being “some”.
Much like the course creation situation, site tailoring is relatively limited — The price you pay for the speed and ease of site development.
Learnworlds, on the other hand, is rife with customizable potential.
There are over 400 professional templates to choose from to get a quick start, but with HTML/CSS transparency, as long as you know the basics of coding, you can make any alteration you desire in order to match the site to your e-learning aesthetic and brand.
It also offers a WordPress SSO plugin so your students can travel seamlessly between your sites and content, and thanks to a direct Zoom integration, live elements are a total breeze to set up.
Then there are the built-in lead capture zones to consider, improving your chances of bringing in new students.
Memberfactory does allow basic branding, giving you the option to select your own color scheme and to add your logo at the top of your sites, but the customizability is leagues behind Learnworlds.
For the uninitiated, in this context, white labeling refers to the banishing of all hosting site branding, leaving only yours for the users to see.
Although it’s a small feature, it makes a world of difference, giving your sites a more discrete and professional look.
I’m happy to report that both Memberfactory and Learnworlds are pretty strong in the white labeling department, so if you want your brand to take the spotlight, you’re safe whichever route you choose.
Here’s another area in which Learnworlds excels. Featuring a number of social elements, it removes the inherent impersonal barrier of online learning, allowing your students to form a community and get to know one another, leading to a more rewarding experience.
And we’re not just talking about basic course discussion on module videos, but study group creation, a messenger tool, and general school community facilities.
What I’m saying here is that there are a number of ways for you to connect with your students and for your students to connect with one another.
You also remain in control of who can create and access these groups, which helps to keep things nice and neat. The last thing you want is a million groups sprouting up every week!
As a more general hosting solution, besides course discussion via comments, and a line of contact for you, Memberfactory doesn’t offer all that much in the way of social learning and community creation.
It’s a real shame, as education is often most effective as a social endeavor.
Infrastructure scaling is a key concern to those setting up online courses.
The software you’re using needs to have the ability to flex to accommodate a growing following, otherwise, you’ll end up doing a lot of the heavy lifting yourself to optimize for expansion.
I’d consider Memberfactory and Learnworlds pretty neck and neck on this front, as they both offer seamless auto-scaling, so you can tick the tech side of scaling off your to-do list!
As mentioned earlier, Memberfactory offers unlimited hosting of content and media, so your offerings can grow alongside your reputation as an online educator, and the platform can process as much as $1 million every single month.
In other words, you’d have to be a pretty big deal to outgrow Memberfactory.
Learnworlds doesn’t divulge its transaction limit, but being as it’s positioned as the go-to online host platform for B2B and B2C learning, it’s clearly capable of facilitating some sizable sums.
In fact, the reason the platform doesn’t give a transaction limit may well be due to them not actually imposing one.
What’s more, Learnworlds offers dedicated servers to high volume, high traffic accounts, just to be sure the fundamental tech can support your following!
So, to summarize this section, Memberfactory is a fantastic option for individuals hoping to expand their online learning business, while Learnworlds is equipped to handle corporate-level operations.
Both Memberfactory and Learnworlds offer impeccable reporting.
With the former, you’ll find sales and member statistics on the sales dashboard.
Here, you’ll gain an insight into what sells and what doesn’t, so you can steer your operation towards greater profitability.
Memberfactory also offers more in-depth analysis, such as refunds generated, net member sales, and geographical distribution of your subscription holders, so you know where your online courses are most popular.
You can use all this info to fine-tune your “ideal customer” persona and then fine-tune your courses accordingly in order to reach as many members of your target demographic as possible.
I also really appreciated the comprehensive timeline of past actions accessible via the dash, as it saves logging things manually and makes troubleshooting almost effortless.
Learnworlds covers all the same ground, but, once again, their learning-forward interface gives them a slight edge, as not only will you receive the same discrete data sets, it analyzes them to automatically provide student segmentation details.
Ultimately, this offers you a more detailed breakdown of your customers, thereby giving you an insight into how to pull in more!
A few examples of just how deep this analysis can go are as follows:
You can find out…
- The proportion of your students who are at risk
- Which users signed up for the lead magnet but are yet to buy a course
- Which of your courses have a below 25% user progression rate
- Who the most successful users are in terms of certifications and grades
- How many users with more than one certificate are enrolled on multiple courses
- Who hasn’t come to class for more than a month
- Which of your users is the most active
- What percentage of subscribers are yet to enroll on a course
As you can see, the reporting can be as made to measure as you need it to be, making it the best option overall, especially if you need an easy way to monitor user performance.
For instance, if you’re setting up a corporate account, you’ll need to know that your employees are completing the courses to your satisfaction.
But, having said all that, I was still very impressed by the dashboard reporting on Memberfactory too!
Here we have a clean-cut tie, as both Memberfactory and Learnworlds allow you to pre-prepare your lessons and content and then drip-feed it in accordance with a pre-determined schedule, so you don’t have to worry about updating everything yourself in real-time.
This saves a bunch of hassle and helps to turn your educational endeavor into more of a passive income pursuit, which is of course fantastic!
Managing your sites and subscriptions is an absolute doddle whichever hosting platform you choose.
Both make viewing existing subscriptions, total revenue, terminated subscriptions, and new subscriptions completely painless.
You can also add subscriptions manually if the need ever arises, so even though automation does the heavy lifting, you remain in control at all times!
Memberfactory utilizes Amazon Cloud servers, so security is all but guaranteed.
To hack your account or try and gain access to your courses or any dashboard information, someone must be capable of hacking one Mr. Jeff Bezos, and that simply isn’t going to be the case.
Besides, even if some prodigious cyber ne’er do well decided to give it a shot, all sites and content hosted by Memberfactory are monitored 24/7, meaning access would be blocked instantaneously if they did manage to find a chink in the armor.
Learnworlds does a respectable job in the security department too, securing every single data transaction by forcing requests through HTTPS, which is essentially the most advanced encryption protocol around.
In fact, any school hosted by Learnworlds is automatically granted an SSL certificate… that’s how locked up tight this platform is!
I can’t fault the integrations available on either platform.
No matter what tools or platforms you already have on the go, there’s a very good chance that they’ll slide seamlessly into the new platform ecosystem, saving you the headache of migrating all operations onto in-house facilities.
It’s clear that Learnworlds is technically the superior platform to host your online courses, but a lot of the advanced features may be overkill for many, especially if you’re just starting out and you’re not too hot on your HTML/CSS.
Don’t get me wrong, for corporate-grade operations, Learnworlds is the only way to go, but for the individual just trying to gain some traction in the online learning market, Memberfactory may well be all you need and more.
That said, if I had to choose one platform now, as an individual, I’d go with Learnworlds, as they offer a more comprehensive toolset, not just for your students, but for you as a course provider to stimulate growth and increase exposure, which, at the end of the day, is the name of the game.