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What’s the Best Online Learning Site?

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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 logo

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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 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 14 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

  • 14 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, iPad and computers
  • No contracts
  • Only technical computer-centric courses available like design and development for the web
  • No iPhone app
  • 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. 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).

Best for the Creative or Artistic Person: Lynda Review

Lynda logo

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If you’re looking to build more creative and artistic skills, Lynda is the site for you. Lynda offers courses that teach you how to edit photos and use video software. With access to more than 4,150 courses, you can learn software, business, creative skills and more. The video tutorials are simple to follow and the number of tutorials are 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 University of Southern California.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to follow video tutorials
  • Less expensive than taking a college course
  • 10 day free trial (click our banner above)
  • Free app for members to use on Windows, Android and iOS devices
  • Offline viewing for Annual Premium members
  • Video streaming can be slow at times
  • Expert teachers, but not always engaging/entertaining videos
  • No cooking tutorials (only a negative if you are looking for this!)

Pricing

When you purchase a Lynda membership you receive the following:

  • Unlimited access to all courses whenever you want
  • 4,150 video tutorials and growing
  • Learn from experts in the field you’re interested in (make sure there is a tutorial for your interest area before you sign up)
  • Courses for all levels to help you learn software, business, creative skills, and more
  • Learn on the go with your mobile, tablet, and computer
  • Maintain a wish list of the subjects you want to learn more about

You can try Lynda out with a 10 day free trial.

Group memberships are available if you’re buying for a company or team. They include all the features listed below. For pricing, contact one of Lynda’s training solutions advisors at 888-335-9632.

Basic

With Basic you get unlimited access to all videos and new courses are added weekly.

  • Basic Month-to-Month – $24.99/month
  • Basic Annual Billing – $239.88/year (save $60)

Premium

Premium monthly accounts receive everything the Basic package offers as well as project files to download. The top-tier package, Premium Annual, includes offline viewing in addition to everything offered in the Premium Monthly package.

  • t mobil
  • Premium Month-to-Month – $34.99/month
  • Premium Annual Billing – $359.88/year (save $60)

Coupon Code

There are not any active Lynda coupons at this time.

Best for Learning it All and Teaching: Udemy Review

Udemy logo

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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. You’ll be able to expand your skills with the help of Udemy. Udemy is currently the world’s largest destination for online learning and offers a wide variety of courses. 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.

Udemy’s clients include Century21, Datalogix, General Mills, Lyft and T-Mobile.

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 35,000 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
  • The site is a little difficult to navigate at first
  • No discounts for individual 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? Checkout how you can through Udemy.

Best for Web Development: SitePoint Review

SitePoint logo

Visit 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, 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 66 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 83 ebooks at the moment 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
  • 66 courses with 30 minutes to 11 hours each
  • 83 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
  • The site does not have a built in text editor or code sampler
  • 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.

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?


About Kimberly Alt
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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26 Comments on "What’s the Best Online Learning Site?"

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iLoveCoding
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
Sharad Kumbhar

how come pluralsight is not in comparison?

Alex Schenker
Admin

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
Guest
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
Guest
Victor

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

Gabe Wallace
Guest
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.

Kimberly Alt
Guest
Kimberly Alt

Hi Gabe, glad you liked the review! We just checked the Lynda pricing and what we have is correct. Hope you enjoy learning some new information! 🙂

Gabe Wallace
Guest
Gabe Wallace

Looks like you’re correct, I was referring to the premium thanks.

geet
Guest
geet

What about Udacity?

Kimberly Alt
Guest
Kimberly Alt

We haven’t researched Udacity but will add it to our list of potential updates! Thanks for the suggestion.

Javier Arch
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
Nathan Davis

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

Charonda Edwards
Guest
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.

Kimberly Alt
Guest
Kimberly Alt

Glad we could help you out Charonda! Good luck with learning how to code!

@ginabegin
Guest
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
Guest

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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest

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

Ash
Guest

I think Pluralsight should be included in this review.

Glyn Townsend
Guest
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?

Kimberly Alt
Guest
Kimberly Alt

Thanks Ash, we’ll consider adding them in our next audit.

pittendrigh
Guest
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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