What’s the Best Online Learning Site? Treehouse vs Lynda vs Udemy vs PluralSight & More!

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Best for Coding and Programming
Treehouse logo
Best for Creative and Artistic People
Lynda logo
Best for Learning & Teaching
Udemy logo
Best for Web Development
SitePoint logo

Is your company going to switch to a new program? Or maybe you are looking to add a new skill to your resume. The most time and cost efficient way to learn is by signing up for an online learning site. Then you can learn the program and go through the course at your own speed. As a business owner, you may even want to use this as a training portal for offering continuing education to keep your employees motivated! These online learning tools can save you time and keep your business productive.

Learn When You Want

Online learning sites are convenient because they allow you to learn whenever you have the time. Instead of having a set schedule (like a typical class) you can take part in a class when it’s convenient for you. Whether that’s after you put the kids to sleep, before work, or on the weekend. You can study and learn on your own time. This is a luxury that many of us would love to have when it comes to advancing our education.

Learn a New Skill

Are you applying for a job that requires that you know how to use specific software or a specialized technique? These online learning tools are great for that. You can learn at your own pace, so when the time for the interview comes, your potential new employer will see that you meet all the requirements!

Best for the Coder or Programmer: Treehouse Review

Treehouse logoVisit Website

Treehouse is the best online learning tool for those who want to learn web code and programming. By learning these skills, you will be able to create and edit your own websites and apps. Treehouse adds new videos almost weekly to stay up to date. This company is highly focused on tech/computer-centric subjects (HTML, CSS, app building and more), and can help you master skills that will translate into a new career in high-tech. If you are looking for more general subjects, this is not the right site for you. Treehouse has more than 210,000 students and is focused on creating coders who build websites and programs. You can take courses on how to create apps, write code, and even how to start a business. There are no contracts. So, after you use up your 7-day free trial, you can still sign up for a month and decide if you like Treehouse. Learn more about treehouse in our interview with Marketer Micah Cooksey.

Pros

Cons

  • 7-day free trial
  • More than 1,000 videos
  • Hands on practice with Code Challenge Engine
  • Members only forums
  • Goal setting and achievement feature
  • Available on Android, iPhone, iPad and computers
  • No contracts
  • Only technical computer-centric courses available like design and development for the web
  • No discounts for long-term commitment/membership in exchange for no contract

Pricing

The Basic package includes all of the features listed above. The Pro package includes everything Basic plus video talks with industry professionals, exclusive workshops and interviews, progress reports, offline viewing and more. Tree House offers a 7-day free trial via this link.

  • Basic – $25/month
  • Pro – $49/month

Coupon Code

There are no Treehouse coupons available.

Group memberships are also available, but you must contact their sales team via their contact form on their website (click on link above).

Read our in-depth Team Treehouse Review

Best for the Creative or Artistic Person: Lynda Review

Lynda logoVisit Website

If you’re looking to build more creative and artistic skills, Lynda is the site for you. Founded in 1995 (and acquired by LinkedIn in 2015), Lynda offers courses that teach you how to edit photos and use video software. With access to more than 6,000 courses, you can learn software, business, creative skills and more. The video tutorials are simple to follow and the number of tutorials is growing weekly. Lynda’s strengths include creative projects like software programs for photography, illustrations, videos and documents. Where they fall short is the lack of cooking courses, which have become more and more popular with today’s population wanting to save money by cooking at home. Lynda’s clients include Adobe, Full Sail University, Microsoft, NBC, Patagonia, United States Office of Government Ethics and the University of Southern California.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to follow video tutorials
  • Lynda cost less expensive than taking a college course
  • 30-day free trial (click our banner above)
  • Free app for members to use on Windows, Android and iOS devices
  • Offline viewing for Premium members
  • Apple TV app
  • Video streaming can be slow at times
  • Expert teachers, but not always engaging/entertaining videos

Pricing

You can try a Lynda membership out with a 30-day free trial.

  • Basic: from $19.99/month
    • 5,938 courses to learn from
    • Learn on the go via mobile, tablet, TV and computer
    • Assess progress with quizzes
  • Premium: from $29.99/month
    • Everything included in Basic plan
    • Project files to practice
    • Offline viewing

Coupon Code

There are not any active Lynda coupons at this time.

Read our in-depth Lynda.com Review

Best for Learning it All and Teaching: Udemy Review

Udemy logoVisit Website

If you’re looking for a site that offers a large variety of courses and also lets you share your knowledge with others, Udemy is your best bet. Udemy has it all, from photography to cooking to programming and everything in between. You’ll be able to expand your skills of all types and levels with the help of Udemy, currently the world’s largest destination for online learning. The best way to explain Udemy is that it is a combination of Lynda and Treehouse. Udemy covers the creative courses, while also covering the more technical career-building courses like web coding, programming, finance and graphic design. You can also learn on the go on your device to watch courses anytime, any place. Udemy’s clients include Century21, Datalogix, General Mills, Lyft and T-Mobile. For those of you who are experts, you can make a little extra money by applying to teach a class too.

Pros

Cons

  • Available on Android, iOS and computers
  • Some free courses
  • Reviews available for each course so you can make a more informed decision on a course before you spend the cash
  • More than 42,000 courses in more than 80 languages
  • You can create your own course, if you qualify, and earn money if your course sells
  • Good customer service reputation
  • Groups get a discount so might work well for a corporate training option
  • Large database of classes can be overwhelming
  • Individual classes can add up and be expensive
  • No subscription option or discounts for loyalty (if you take one course, you get no benefit to take the next one from Udemy again)
  • If you decide to create a course, the minimum length is 30 minutes (which may be too long for some topics) and deleting lectures can be difficult

Pricing

Udemy has you pay by the course anywhere from $20 to $200. There are no subscription plans, contracts or monthly fees for individuals.

Instructors receive a percentage of the profit made by their course. So if you decide to create a course and it gets approved, you will get a portion of the profits.

Group Memberships

Contact Udemy for a demo and group pricing.

Coupon Code

Your first course with Udemy is $24 and no promocode is needed. Use this link to take advantage of this offer.

How Does Udemy Work?

Want to teach a course or maybe learn something? Check out how you can through Udemy.

Read our in-depth Udemy Review

Best for Web Development: SitePoint Review

SitePoint logoVisit Website

SitePoint Premium, previously known as Learnable, is the best option if you’re looking to further your web development skills. With numerous videos on web development (ranging from HTML to CSS, JavaScript, PHP, Phython and more) your skill level will improve quickly if you stick with it. SitePoint offers courses for various skill levels to help you jump in at the level you are comfortable with and enhance your knowledge of your chosen subject. SitePoint offers 68 courses and ranging from 30 minutes to 11 hours. You can also download e-books and keep them forever – even after your subscription is over. There are 85 ebooks at the time of update and 5,000 Premium Screencasts, which are single video lesson courses. While taking a course, you can ask questions on the discussion thread and the instructor should respond within 24 hours.

Pros

Cons

  • Established learning company for IT, web development and design professionals
  • 68 courses with 30 minutes to 11 hours each
  • 85 e-books to download and keep forever
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Each course has a discussion board where classmates and instructors interact with you if you have questions
  • Free podcast and forums
  • Talk with Experts is a chat series – not a webinar – so it is not as user-friendly as one might expect
  • Lack of content outside of the web and IT world
  • No mobile app

Pricing

When you sign up for $99/year you receive access to unlimited books and courses, exclusive events, and two downloads a month (can be used to study when your Internet access is limited).

Coupon Code

There are no Sitepoint coupons available.

Honorable Mention Online Learning Sites

Pluralsight | Udacity

Pluralsight Review

Pluralsight logoVisit Website

Newer to the online learning market, Pluralsight is similar to Udemy in that they have a wide-range of topics to choose from. You can study anything from coding and web development to creative disciplines like graphic design.  Pluralsight also offers classes in architecture, IT and cyber security and manufacturing. Pick a path in a certain skill and measure your progress to see where you have the opportunity to grow. They also offer mentoring programs and a mobile and desktop app for learning on your phone or Apple TV.

Pros

Cons

  • 5,000+ courses
  • Skill measurement, exercises, learning checks
  • Mobile app available for learning on the go
  • Offline learning included
  • Group discount for 2 or more
  • Mobile, desktop and Apple TV app
  • No offline option
  • Reports of tutorials having problems loading or content is out of date
  • Not the best customer service

Pricing

$29/month or $299/year for individuals. Business plans start at $499/user annually and include group insights, single sign on and expert mentoring (coming soon). They also offer a free trial for both.

Udacity Review

Udacity logoVisit Website

Udacity’s programs or “nanodegrees” are like a mini certification program intended to get you prepared for jobs in the tech and data field. Their longer-term courses focus on mostly high-tech and specialized jobs that require specific skills. From self-driving car engineers to virtual reality programming, they are cutting edge in “ahead of the curve” industries. Pricing and features vary by program. Udacity is big on the quality of their programs and has top-notch instructors from accredited universities and organizations. They stand by their programs and give a 50% refund if you graduate within 12 months. In addition, the Plus program comes with a 100% money back guarantee if you don’t get a job within six months.

Pros

Cons

  • Help with job placement at high-demand, well-playing companies like Google, AT&T, Intuit and more
  • 100% money back guarantee if you don’t get a job (with Plus program)
  • Accelerate your learning with Udacity Connect in-person classes
  • More competitive and require an application to get in
  • Not as much “learn as you go” classes, intended for long-term students with set times for courses
  • More serious-minded (not intended for leisurely students)

Pricing

Starts at $199/month for Nanodegree program, add on $100/month for Pro (job guarantee) and $99/month (in-person training)

College vs Online Learning Sites

In-state public college for the 2015-2016 school year averaged about $24,000 and a little less than $48,000 for private college. We aren’t saying that these online learning sites should replace a four-year education. But we are saying that if you’re interested in furthering employees’ skills or having them learn a new one, then an online learning site may help you without breaking the company’s budget.

Have you ever used an online learning site?

Kimberly has always enjoyed testing out the latest tech gadgets and loves seeing how things evolve. She’s a fast learner when it comes to the latest fads and likes sharing her findings with others. Although she loves technology, she also enjoys escaping the online world and likes to spend time outside away from the gadgets.

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43 Comments on "What’s the Best Online Learning Site? Treehouse vs Lynda vs Udemy vs PluralSight & More!"

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Ernesto E Simbulan
Ernesto E Simbulan

I was looking for udemy vs. Masterclass.com. I hope to find an objective review for these 2 learning sites.

Ann

Have you heard of Skillcrush, it is just for coding/web dev but I’d be curious about your perspective?

pablo
pablo

what about edureka?

pablo
pablo

you don’t talk about certification. It seems to me that certification can be very helpful for job seekers.

Matk
Matk

Is there a chance to get some nice graphs of the above please? It could really help

Jeremy
Jeremy

Pretty sure Udacity.com is 50% refund for people who graduate in 12 months or less. Not for those who don’t graduate.

Leighton Cooper
Leighton Cooper

What about Questia.com and Books24x7. Those two should be added

Badar saleem
Badar saleem

udemy is the best fully organized and highly good and cheap courses…

xiangshuii
xiangshuii

You may try use allavsoft to download Videos from LearnNowOnline to MP4, AVI, MP3 etc.

Aaron
Aaron
UDEMY: I completed a few courses at udemy.com, but became reluctant to do any more, without being able to put my finger on why. But reading this article, and user the user posts, I’ve been able to ferrett out the reasons: 1. The reviews of the courses are suspect. Udemy provides a platform for teachers and tutors (of a great variety of topics) to post their self-created content, and get paid for it, so it’s pointless to opine on whether udemy ITSELF is good or bad, because, obviously, any given course is only as good as its creator. And here… Read more »
Eduardo
Eduardo

I think safaribooksonline should also be in comparison

iLoveCoding
iLoveCoding
This is a great writeup. I may have to try Udemy out. My experience with treehouse was horrific. Here is my story. I started using Teamtreehouse 25 months ago and learned a decent amount from it. I also learned a lot from great free resources like The New Boston ( YouTube channel ), LevelUpTuts ( YouTube channel ), and codeacademy. I became one of the top students in the top 100 out of 400,000+ people. I was #1 in the world for WordPress and Digital Literacy for a long time. Teamtreehouse decided to screw the users pretty badly by moving… Read more »
ilovelibertyfreedom
ilovelibertyfreedom

Allz of them are good, and then I subscribe all of them, and then use Allavsoft to download them for offline use.

Sharad Kumbhar
Sharad Kumbhar

how come pluralsight is not in comparison?

Alex Schenker
Admin
Alex Schenker

Thanks for your feedback Sharad. We’ve gotten multiple requests to review Pluralsight and I’m happy to report the review is currently underway. Look for this article to be updated Feb 17th.

Greg Moore
Greg Moore

Paid for many courses on Udemy the teaching is very good value for money! $20 for 8 hours of lessons in some cases! What’s not to like. Colleges are dead. Face to face classes are dead too.

Victor
Victor

Agree with you. Some courses you pay $10 for 50 hours course. Udemy is the best.

Gabe Wallace
Gabe Wallace

Thank you, great summaries for the varied education sites. I’d say just update that Lynda is now $34.99 and $349.99 respectively.

geet
geet

What about Udacity?

Javier Arch
Javier Arch
None of them are perfect, but the one I dislike the most is Lynda because since they got bought by LinkedIn they are concentrating in high end costumers (corps) and don’t care for the one guy student, proof of that is no more discounts or coupons, more classes on executive end corporate environment and bad costumer service. I had used them all and as of right now Treehouse is the best of all. I insist no perfect but not the worst, the worst is Lynda. I really miss Lynda the old way, I payed year subscription in 2012 (half-price discount)… Read more »
George M
George M
Team Treehouse sucks. If you’re going to go to a traditional brick and mortar school, you at least come out with a certificate, and you’ll have the opportunity to do an internship at a well known company that has connections with that school. At Treehouse there is no certificate of completion and you don’t get a portfolio. You have to create everything yourself on top of learning a bunch of new stuff. Furthermore, you spend your time watching videos and if something doesn’t make sense you go to the public forum and ask a question. Sometimes it gets answered and… Read more »
Nathan Davis
Nathan Davis

You can add The Pennsylvania State University to the list of clients for Lynda.

Charonda Edwards
Charonda Edwards

This is really good insight. I want to learn how to code and needed to know which online resources were the best before I invested in face-to-face courses or a coding bootcamp.

@ginabegin
@ginabegin
Just FYI, Treehouse does have a smartphone app (I have it installed on my Note II) — might not have been available at the time of this posting though. 🙂 It’s a great app from a great crew; I’ve really enjoyed learning from Treehouse. I chose it over Lynda because I wanted to sign up with Lynda, having heard so much about it, but it took them 3 weeks to get back to a question I had about signing up and when I tried the free trial and tried to ask a question about coding, I never got a reply… Read more »
Annalisa
Annalisa

They say “no iPhone app”. But they do not say there is no Android app, in fact your Note II is an Android device. 😉

disqus_lxLVMrM696
disqus_lxLVMrM696

Another con for Udemy is that some of their courses are garbage. They are just lessons of a class taught at a university or something with no real content, just lectures.

Life course
Life course

Frankly, All of the courses are not garbage. They do offer a 30 day refund if you dislike the course. What sucks big time is that after 30 days you can’t get rid of the course from your my course profile. It’s permanent. I guess this is what they mean by lifetime guaranteed.

Johann
Johann

I’m extremly happy with Udemy. After all, you can judge the courses beforehand (free lessons, reviews) and from time to time you get huge discounts. But it’s nice from a teacher’s perspective, too. They really care about students and teachers, help you, provide tipps, tricks, freebies and tons of material. It’s a wonderful community where you can learn, teach and share.

BTW. No subscription!

Albert Dutra
Albert Dutra

Great breakdown of the various ecourse learning sites. This was helpful. I appreciate the time you took to compare them!

Ash

I think Pluralsight should be included in this review.

Glyn Townsend
Glyn Townsend

Agree, would like to see pluralsight in this list – with 750,000 subscribers and a market valuation of 1Bn – why wouldn’t it be?

pittendrigh
pittendrigh

Be careful with sitepoint.com and learnable.com (they are the same entity). Ebook purchases there often contain a subscription “free trial” you didn’t notice, which ends up as a $30 a month charge you didn’t want. A recurring charge not easy to cancel. Be very careful.

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