How long does it take to make an online course?

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This is one of the most frequently asked questions we get, and unfortunately, one of the hardest to answer. Sometimes, it can take anywhere between a few hours or days to several weeks; the more organized you are upfront, the less time you'll spend later. This post will discuss how long it takes to create an online course and the steps included in the process.

Factors that Affect the Length of Time to Create an Online Course

The time it takes to create an online course depends on different factors, including:


How long your course will take to create will mostly depend on the length of the course. While longer courses can offer more value, shorter courses can be just as popular. They are often more concise and convenient for learners, allowing them to fit education into their busy schedules.

The subject and objectives of your course will also play a significant role in determining its length. After all, teaching someone how to design a simple Shopify website should take less time than teaching advanced coding skills.


It's important to remember that different delivery methods require time and effort. For example, the type of videos you create will affect how long it takes to complete them. If your videos are being recorded by yourself and don't require editing or special effects (like animations or graphics), then they should be reasonably easy to create; however, if they need special effects or editing, this could significantly increase their production time.

Your availability 

If creating a course is your primary focus, you will likely complete it faster than if it's just one of many things on your agenda.

Before beginning your course, assess how much time you can devote to developing it. If you're realistic about this upfront, when challenges arise later during the course creation process (as they inevitably will), working through them won't feel as daunting.

Steps in Developing an Online Course

Let's look at the basic steps of course creation to give you a better overview of how long it could take to develop an online course.

Defining Your Idea 

When trying to define the concept of your course, try asking yourself these questions:

  • What are you trying to teach?
  • What do you want your students to learn?
  • Why is this important
  • What's the benefit of learning it?

Market research

Conducting market research before you begin developing your course is always important. This is the time to gather information about potential customers to understand their needs, wants, and preferences. It can be done by asking customers directly or indirectly, using statistics and data. It is also essential to look at competitors' products/services and see how you can create a better product and what your competitors charge for their courses.

The goal of this step is for you to determine what type of content people want from an online course on your topic and how much they're willing to pay for it!

Course Outline 

The course outline is a road map for the course. It helps you and your students to stay on track and gives them an idea of what they can expect from the materials in each module. The outline should include the following:

  • Course goals and objectives
  • A list of all content covered in the course, including videos, graphics, readings, and quizzes. Remember to include the structure of each module and how many pages and chapters there will be.

Course production:

By this stage, you should have everything you need to start creating the content for your course. Methodically work through your course outline, collecting all the content you need as you go.

In conclusion, creating an online course takes time, effort, and a clear understanding of the course goals, format, and market needs. The time it takes to develop a course will vary based on its length, format, and your time availability. To make the process smoother, conduct market research, define your idea, create a course outline, and methodically work through the production of your course.

If you're interested in creating your course, check out Forento. We offer an all-in-one business platform where you can create and sell knowledge-based content. Start your free 30-day trial today!