This article looks at the costs to create an online course and the many factors affecting price. 

The average price to have a one hour eLearning course developed for you by established eLearning companies in Ireland varies from €5000 to €30,000. The disparity in pricing  is down to such factors as:


  • Level of  interactivity 
  • Employment of Instructional Designer
  • Employment of Graphic designer
  • Employment of subject matter expert
  • Employment of videographer
  • Employment of content writer
  • Quality of audio and visual

And this is far from an exhaustive list; depending on the size of the project other specialists may need to be employed, such as a project manager, engineers, quality control and other technical staff.  



You can keep costs down by using your phone to shoot video

I’m a small business – but I still want my course to look good.


Most of us who want to get our courses online, don’t have the vast budget nor the need for the involvement of the above assortment of technical players – but we still want our course to be interactive, look good, and leave the learner feeling satisfied with having achieved their learning objective! 

I want to keep my costs down so I’m going to do most of the course creation myself. 



Video with audio is the most popular format for an online course. To do this you will at least need a decent quality camera and microphone. There is also the cost of screen capture software such as Camtasia or Screencast-o-matic if you are going down that route. I personally use Geforce-experience. If you want to have animations you can add the cost of animating software such as Adobe After Effects or Powtoons. Many go for presentation style videos so in this case a copy of  PowerPoint or other presentation software may be necessary. It is very important that your audio is good quality, so you might again consider the Adobe Creative Cloud suite which also gives you Audition



You may also need to purchase additional images or stock video footage. 



The estimated cost to create one hour of video is between €800 and €1500 when you factor in all of the potential costs from above. The likelihood is that you already have much of the hardware and some of the software so this cost will then be lower. 


One hour of video will take between 12 and 40 hours to produce. We value our time differently, but this should be taken into consideration. If, for example, your hourly rate is €50, then this time could be costing you €2000 and now the total cost to make your online course could be getting as high as €3500. 




And this is before you even factor in the cost of hosting your course on a Learning Management System (LMS). You may use a cloud LMS like Teachable or Thinkific or hosting your own platform with a WordPress LMS plugin like LearnDash or LifterLMS. 


As you might be beginning to see, there are a myriad options when it comes to putting your course online. 


Every person’s situation is different and I’m always available to have a chat about which might be the best options for you. 




If you have questions regarding your own eLearning project, just ask me! 

Cormac Cullen MA eLearning

Cormac Cullen MA eLearning

Cormac specialises in all stages of eLearning, from design & development of online courses to LMS’s and hosting courses for sale. Cormac has designed eLearning for corporates, colleges and small businesses alike.

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