Tech Talk

How to Build an Elearning Platform like Udemy or Coursera

Before we move on, let’s decide what the purpose of the Elearning platform is. 

An Elearning platform means an electronic platform, which is an integrated set of interactive online facilities. It provides tutors, learners, and course guidance with information, tools, and resources to support and enhance education management systems. A type of eLearning platform is an (LMS)learning management system. You have to choose the eLearning platform that presents your course in an engaging way for your learners.


Udemy and Coursera are some of the well-known representatives of MOOC providers. The e-learning platform Coursera was initiated in 2012 by Stanford professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller and Udemy were founded by Eren Bali in 2010.

Coursera and Udemy are a  representation of two types of learning platforms: Udemy includes individual tutors who submit the content of courses to the platform, whereas Coursera cooperates with universities and colleges for improving the educational system.

Udemy’s database of courses estimates 80,000 courses which are 40 times more when compared to Coursera, but the online courses are mostly short-term and made by individual instructors, not obligatory university professors. However, all courses needs to pass the verification process before publishing. There are tools that Udemy provides to create a course and promote it for profit.

In Udemy, there are no learning paths or playlists in courses. But in Coursera, there are learning paths and playlists through course specializations.


The first thing you should decide is what type of eLearning website or platform you want.

If you are planning to design a website that mainly focuses on universities and organizations as course contributors or create your own courses & content, you can go for a website like Coursera.

In case your eLearning platform is supposed to provide a place where any individual tutor is able to create and manage their courses, then you should make a website like Udemy.

There are a lot of features that contribute to the basics of almost any eLearning platform. Let’s have a  look at the basic functionalities and unique features necessary to create a website like Coursera and Udemy.

Any kind of eLearning platform represents a catalog of courses and they should be accessible to them. So flipping through courses should be well organized and comfortable for the learners as well as tutors.


Udemy stores more than 80,000 courses. So we need to find that particular course that we need. There is no wonder that they need a sophisticated search for finding their own fitting courses quickly as per their need. Udemy’s search feature is realized with the help of Elasticsearch technology and retrieves matches as soon as possible to the user’s request.

Users in Udemy can search by the Keyword provided in the search bar. For example:


There should be Categories and subcategories.

Without categorization, it will be difficult for users to match courses to people’s interests. For example:


Recommendations that are provided on courses can help a user to find interesting topics and contents they did not consider. If you ever tried to browse the Coursera website or even created an account, you may have noticed that the system collects data about all your views and interests in the past. This information for bringing the users back based on the following suggestions:

1.Courses based on your recent activity

2.Because you viewed “any specific subject”

3.Most popular in “any specific subject”

4.Most popular courses

5.Most popular certificates

6.Trendy courses


Users such as teachers or learners should be able to register in the system in a secure and comfortable way. 


This peculiarity is necessary for promoting high-quality classes on a website like Udemy or Coursera from which we can identify the best and the worst courses and teachers. 


Depending on the types of users on the e-learning platform, we can categorize profile types into two.


This is a user profile to collect all information regarding user course enrollments, purchases, and activities.


This is a user profile created for teachers so that they can create their own courses and update them on the platform. There should be a forum for communication with students and the instructor community. Apart from that, it will be a good idea to offer educators valuable resources such as articles on teaching.


Creation of a course is a process where a teacher passes through a questionnaire and should submit the answers for review. There should be a course creation wizard tool that allows you to complete a course framework, write scripts, add quizzes, videos, slides, text, coding exercises, assignments, practice tests, and additional resources including images, PDFs, links, audio files, etc.

Course Creation


With the help of a dashboard, instructors on a platform like Udemy can track their activities. Apart from that, it provides them with analytical data and can include the number of students, ratings, traffic, and conversions.


The users should be able to get access to the courses they paid for. After registration, access to the website will be free and you can add a course to the shopping cart and pay for it if you need. Also, courses may have a free trial period and after which users have to pay to continue accessing. All the courses you purchase will be available on a special tab – “My Learnings”.


Provide students with convenient and secure payment gateways. It would be better to allow purchasing the courses via eWallets (Google Pay, Phone Pay, Paytm, etc) that became a popular e-commerce marketplace. It may be for monthly or yearly subscriptions and after that users need to pay for it again.


The main purpose is to inform your subscribers about the new courses available, Subscription expiring messages, payment details, recommendations, events, etc. by email or app notifications.


You must need a back-end and front-end programming languages for website development. 

Technical stack for a building a website


For the back-end part, you can choose any programming language for building the server side of your online elearning platform. Back-end means working on server-side software, which focuses on everything you can’t see on a website but need it when you want the responses. Back-end developers ensure the website performs correctly, back-end logic, focusing on databases, application programming interface (APIs), architecture, and servers.

Databases are useful for stroing, maintain, and access any sort of data. They gather information on people, places, or things, and the information is gathered in one place so that it can be observed and analyzed. Databases can be thought of as an organized collection of information. MySQL is the ultimate choice for Udemy in the case of databases. Also, ElasticSearch is widely used for search and analytics in Udemy.


A front-end developer uses web languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript that allow users to access and interact with the site or app for creating websites and applications. When you go through a website, the design elements and all the things you see there were created by a front-end developer.

Third-party tools and integrations

In computer programming, a third-party software component is needed which is a  reusable software component developed to be either freely distributed or sold by an entity other than the original vendor of the development platform. Software integration can be essential for a lot of reasons, which includes migrating from a legacy system to a new database system, including cloud-based data storage.


The total cost of eLearning website development depends on the functionality we mentioned above. In developing a website, the cost can vary a lot based on your website and business requirements.


The era of electronic learning made it one of the most popular higher education alternatives in modern history. Coursera and Udemy have become one of the world’s leading eLearning platforms. E-learning courses have certificates, and their credits are equivalent to the on-campus ones.  Creating a unique product with exceptional functionality allows students to access their online classes anywhere and anytime.

Are you looking forward to develop a elearning platform like Udemy or Coursera? If yes, then get in touch with us. We Perfomatix, a leading IT service provider specialized in building highly scalable APIs and Mobile apps and we also have strong expertise in IoT apps, Virtual Reality apps, and Augmented Reality apps. 

For more clarification about us, visit our success stories section to find out more about some of the startups which made it big with us.

Perfomatix | Product Engineering Services Company