How Long Does It Take To Create An Online Course?

In This article, I have answered: “How Long Does It Take To Create An Online Course?”. This is a frequently asked question, and I completely understand why. I had no idea how long it would take or if we would have enough time to complete it before I created our first online course.

Thus, how much time does it take to develop an online course?

Depending on the length and complexity of the course, creating an online course can take anywhere between 25 and 500 hours.

You could create a mini-course with only four or five videos in a couple of days. A comprehensive flagship course with multiple modules and lessons may take up to eight weeks to complete.

These are merely ballpark figures to provide context.

How long it will take you to create your course is dependent on a variety of factors, which I will discuss in greater detail below.

Let’s begin by examining the primary tasks associated with developing an online course.

How Long Does It Take To Create An Online Course

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How Long Does It Take To Create An Online Course: The 4 Main Stages 

1) Conduct initial research on online courses

This phase will involve conducting research into your niche and selecting a course topic. You may also want to choose an online course platform, and you’ll probably want to take a course on online course creation or at the very least watch some free training on it to prepare.

2) Creating an Outline for Your Course

The following step is to create an outline for your online course. This will ensure that your course contains all necessary information and also has a logical structure for your students.

Additionally, it can assist in breaking down what might otherwise appear to be a mammoth task into manageable chunks to work on.

3) Putting Your Online Course Together

Now it’s time to get your hands dirty and create the course content. For the majority of people, this will entail creating a series of videos based on the course outline, but it may also include additional resources such as pdfs, spreadsheets, and written information to supplement the video lessons.

4) Setting Up Your Course Online

Finally, once you’ve completed all of the course materials, you’ll need to publish them online. Depending on your budget and level of technical expertise, you may choose to do this yourself using an online course platform like Teachable, or you may hire a freelancer to do it for you. In either case, you’ll need to get your course content organized and ready for students to access.

Factors That Affect the Time Required To Create An Online Course


Now that you have an idea of the amount of work involved, let’s look at some of the major factors that can affect how long it takes to create your course.

1: What Is The Course’s Size?

This will have the greatest impact on the length of time required to create your online course, as the size and depth of the course are directly proportional to the amount of time required to create it.

A starter course may consist of only five to twenty lessons and focus on a specific aspect of a larger subject, or it may cover the subject in great detail for a beginner. A typical price range for a beginner course is between $50 and $200.

A flagship course might consist of 20–100 lessons and cover all facets of a subject in great detail, with plenty of additional resources and possibly a community component as well. It could fetch between $200 and $2000+.

If you’re creating a Flagship course, each of the four stages of course creation will take significantly longer, particularly the stage where you create the course content.

Each lesson will require a certain amount of time to plan, film, edit, and create supplemental materials. And the more lessons you require, the longer the process will take.

On the other hand, if you’re creating a beginner course, you can keep it extremely simple and complete it quickly.

This is what I recommend you do if this is your first time creating a course. It enables you to get started and see some success without feeling as though you’re climbing a huge mountain.

You can always revisit the course material and add to it later, or even create a more in-depth flagship course.

2: Are You Going To Do Everything Yourself?

This also has a significant effect.

If you plan to do all of the research, planning, course materials, filming, editing, and setting up a course website yourself, the process will take significantly longer than if you outsource some steps.

And not just because you’ll be doing more work; you’ll be undertaking tasks you’ve never undertaken before, necessitating extensive research and the acquisition of new skills.

This can take considerable time, and if you have the budget, it may be much faster to hire a freelancer who has the experience, will work more quickly, and will almost certainly do a better job than you.

The following are the tasks for which I would hire someone (in this order):

  1. Editing videos – even if you’re an expert, this can take a long time.
  2. Filming your videos – while you can do this on your phone for a starter course, a flagship course selling at a premium price requires high-quality video, which can take time to learn to do on your own.
  3. Setting up your course website – with user-friendly course platforms, this is something that anyone can do on their own, but it does take time to set everything up.

3: Do You Have Any Relevant Skills?

Have you previously worked in filming, editing, or website design?

If this is the case, you will complete your course faster than someone who lacks this experience and lacks the budget to hire assistance.

It’s not a problem if you lack experience with these skills; with a little effort and motivation, you can easily learn how to perform each one.

I had never done any of these things prior to creating our first online course, and because we were bootstrapping everything at the time, we did everything ourselves.

I’ve heard the same thing from numerous other course creators, so don’t let this deter you – just keep in mind that it will take longer to complete the course.

4: How Much Time Do You Have Available To Complete Your Course?

The more time you can devote each day or week to this, the more quickly your course will be completed.

Apart from the obvious reason that the more time you spend on something, the faster it will be completed, this is also true for the following significant reasons:

  • You’ll gain momentum, which will assist you in maintaining the motivation necessary to complete the job (lots of people start and then never finish because they lose the motivation)
  • You’ll find yourself ‘in the zone’ of course creation, which will enable you to complete tasks more quickly than if you have to constantly refocus on other tasks.

Now, I completely understand that the majority of people will be unable to devote their full time to developing their online courses.

We all have existing work, family, and personal commitments that will most likely prevent us from doing so.

However, if you can carve out large chunks of time to work on your course, the process will be significantly faster and more enjoyable.

You’ll be able to maintain focus on each step as you progress, and you’ll see results much more quickly as well.

If that is not possible for you due to a full-time job, have no fear – it is entirely possible to complete your course by working on it one hour at a time.

Numerous people accomplish this in this manner; however, it takes significantly longer than taking a week off work and focusing entirely on it.


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Harshit Baluja

Harshit is a seasoned writer specializing in online courses and eLearning. With 7 years of experience, he has the ability to craft engaging content that seamlessly integrates technology with learning. His expertise lies in simplifying complex topics, ensuring a seamless learning experience for learners of all levels. Connect with Harshit on Linkedin to get in touch with latest eLearning trends.

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