How Much Does It Cost to Build an eLearning App like edX?

Updated on Dec 18th, 2023

Are you planning to build an eLearning app like edX? But, first, before you dive into the exciting era of online education, you should therefore get into the nitty-gritty of information. edX is an Avant-grade application built by several smartest experts from MIT and Harward University for online teaching and learning. The application hosts more than 2500 online courses covering topics such as programming, business, architecture, computer science, web development, and many others.

The application is the student’s classroom that allows him/her to acquire expertise, learn new skills, and obtain internationally recognized credentials. According to Forbes, the e-learning market is predicted to reach 325 billion dollars by the year 2025. It’s not shocking that more and more education startups with many unique ideas, skills, and products are entering the industry with so many opportunities.

But getting a billion-dollar idea isn’t enough in this dynamic environment and competitive world. In addition to your billion idea plan, you will need a credible forum to develop the concept into something more like edX.

Teaching students online. Internet learning. Computer programming. Online IT courses, best online IT training, online certification courses concept. Bright vibrant violet vector isolated illustration
Teaching students online. Internet learning. Computer programming. Online IT courses, best online IT training, online certification courses concept. Bright vibrant violet vector isolated illustration

So how to develop an application like edX, through which you will achieve guaranteed success. Don’t worry about this blog; we’ll share with you a great insight into how to develop an edX clone app. We will discuss essential aspects such as features, tech stack, market overview, revenue model, cost, and many more.

So buckle-up, and let’s get started.

Developing an application such as edX is not even an easy task. To start with, you must have been able to define what your requirements and expectations are. After that, you need to mention the main characteristics which will make your eLearning application best from your competitor’s app. Then, design, tech stack, and so on. So follow the below-suggested measures to build a top-notch eLearning application like edX.

How to Develop an eLearning Application like edX?


1. Define your idea.

The eLearning application’s main component is its user interface and design. When you begin developing an application, you can conceptualize the system from your user point of view. You could chalk out the groups/categories, features, and other components through a visual analysis of the mind map. What unique your platform provides to users? Why should students use your platform? How your application is different from your competitors like edX and others? Try to think in context to users:

  • What pains do you think students face?
  • What other things lack in other apps?
  • What do students like the most?
  • How your application solves their problem?

Besides these, also build a business model and your app’s value propositions.

2. Create Wireframes for a Stronger Sight

Utilizing graphical diagrams, prototypes reflect the structure of the application or website. You may also name it the app’s or website’s blueprint that illustrates each component. The wireframe’s purpose is to ensure that the engineering team and customer have a clear view of the project and the functionality and value of the applications.

3. UI/UX designing 

Designing the User Interface is quite tricky, particularly if you do not have technical expertise.

You will employ a development team like a startup or business owner, but it’s cool for you to envision the platform before asking anyone to develop that one for you. Make doubly sure that your UI and UX are user-friendly and responsive as it is the first touchpoint between the business and the client. If that is not impressive, the customer is unlikely to return to the application shortly.

4. Testing for Assurance

Share the blueprint of your application with a few users to see if there is any actual application effect. It is good to get their feedback as it is simple to make improvements in the preliminary stages. You need to check that your app is working as planned before rendering the application live. Sharing the beta version with some actual user who has been part of a specific target audience is the ideal route ahead. Try to get some truthful suggestions from them and use them to increase your eLearning application’s efficacy.

5. Decided your Tech Stack

For an eLearning application similar to edX, you will need an advanced tech stack. Below we’ve mentioned the tech stack we use to develop eLearning applications for our clients.

  • Frontend – JavaScript, Bootstrap, CSS3, Vue JS, Angular JS, React JS.
  • Framework – CakePHP, ASP.NET, NodeJS, Laravel.
  • Language – Python, PHP, Scala, JS.
  • Plugins – CMS, CRM, Sales, and report.
  • Database – MySQL, MongoDB, Amazon Relational Database Service.
  • Payment Gateway – Paypal, Stripe, net banking.
  • Cloud Storage – CloudFare, AWS.

It would be best to employ the appropriate development team that builds an eLearning application for you. Below following individuals you were required:

  • Android/IOS developer.
  • UI/UX designer.
  • Business Analyst.
  • Product Manager.
  • QA Engineers.

Essential features for an Ideal eLearning Application

eLearning app development

  • Registration – Every individual, whether a student or an instructor, needs to go through a user verification process. Using their email ID and unique password or phone number followed by OTP verification, the application user can register. Also, users can log in or register using social media websites like Facebook or Google.
  • Profile – Under profile management, the feature will rely on the type of profile being generated. The profile can be of two kinds; a user’s profile or an instructor’s profile. There are some features and things similar to both: user profile, Information and profile pic, Active or completed courses, Transaction history, settings, credits, badges, etc. Besides that, the teacher profile features must include; ability to create the course, detailed stats on the dashboard, a list of courses, and an information page.
  • Course page – The quick overview of the course and its collection of features could be as abundant as you want. However, there’s some fundamental functionality that any eLearning website’s course page ought to have:
    • Basic description.
    • Author’s information.
    • Starting and ending dates (if any).
    • Reviews and ratings.
    • Feedback.
  • Search bar and filters – There must be a filter option in an application like edX containing more than 2000 courses to help individuals search for their favourite program. This could be in the context of a Keyphrase-enabled search field. Conversely, it could also be achieved on the application’s main interface using groups. The user can also use filters by the level, language, course price, and so forth.
  • Payment Gateway – If you plan to design your eLearning application on a subscription basis, meaning that there is a charge attached to your courses, you will need to have a payment portal incorporated with the application. The exit should be smooth, ensuring that learners should not encounter too many obstacles in making a payment, and teachers ought to be able to quickly receive their earnings. Net banking, credit cards, debit cards, and other third party gateways are standard methods that can be provided. Note that you should always guarantee that your eLearning application complies with all financial standards and security measures applicable to financial transactions whenever you manage the money supply.
  • Reviews – This feature not only help you to customize course or material but they also enable users to choose courses. This would be a smart option to include additional details in FAQs to help users have as many answers as possible before entering a course. Generally, FAQs notify users about the following:
    • How and when they could reach the resources and tasks of the course.
    • If they may enrol in a specific course in a speciality or degree.
    • What’s the stance on refunds?
    • If some financial assistance for a specific course is available.
  • Auditing – Until enrolling, learners are expected to sample a course. Various top eLearning apps enable users to watch intro videos telling them what information they will learn from a program and their assignments. Learners should inspect courses to get a better understanding of a course. This means that, without even being able to access assignments, keystone projects, and qualifications certificates, they can watch the course’s content and licensed course texts for free. For example, users can download 360p quality videos rather than the 720p or 1080p that are usually available for paid courses while auditing a course on udemy or any other popular eLearning application.
  • Reminders – Without a framework of prompts and alerts, no application is full. With this functionality, you will make sure that your users know about any forthcoming events, new courses, software changes, discounts and sales, feedback, and suggestions. Also, the notification system alerts the application’s user on pending application updates.
  • Advanced players – One of the critical sources of new knowledge for students is video recordings. Indeed, your media player should be smooth and insightful. There might not be a secure internet link for individual users to view videos online. To assist them, you will enable the students to download the study material in different resolutions. It must allow users to not just to play videos, pause or delay them. And also for:
    • Playback speed controls.
    • Link bookmarks.
    • Turn on the subtitles.
    • Changing the resolution of the video.
  • Progress tracking – Inside your eLearning app, help students and users to stay organized and let them track their progress and accomplish their goals. Every course they are registered in, edX, or any other popular eLearning app, users get personalized dashboards with a progress bar and a quick overview of the study material and tasks for the following week. Let your application help learners jump right from the dashboards to the next level of their course, which saves time.
  • Organized materials – Papers, slides, studies, and books are equally as valuable as video recordings. So provide robust tools to users for working with texts. Let individuals:
    • Download documents, video transcripts, and presentations.
    • Spot and drop bookmarks in text documents and reports.
    • Adjust font size on presentations.
  • Diverse community – Growing a community on your eLearning application is a perfect way to assist learners, teachers, collaborators, and everyone else. With such a community, it is possible for users to:
    • Find the subjects in which they are involved and to build some new topics.
    • Ask questions and get answers from many other members via private message or in group channels.
    • Find friends and join up for home tasks and projects with the other.
    • Find course partners.
    • Translate lessons.
    • Report flaws and issues.

As of now, we’ve covered everything connected to learning app development like edX. In the coming section, we’ll discuss the monetization model and cost to develop a high-end eLearning application like edX. So let’s dive in.

Do You Want A Rapid Custom eLearning Solution

What are the monetization models for your eLearning app?

It is usually possible to use three primary forms of revenue models you can use for your app.

  • In-app advertising – In-app ads allow for a standard way to monetize your eLearning application. This monetization model approach means that the application can be made accessible to users for free, leading to a rapid spread of the application amongst users. The advertisements must be meaningful to the viewer so that they do not seem to be bothersome. For instance, you may opt for ads related to Amazon’s auxiliary course materials, or you may allow advertisements from reputable institutions that provide lectures related to the topic you were also providing.
  • Subscription model – Throughout this model, a simple application is available free of charge to all application users and advertised as a freemium application. This technique means that they can get a better understanding of the application’s functionality and determine if it is the right fit for them and which subscription model to use. Conversely, for a set period, users can use the fully functioned eLearning application for free. Another choice is to allow users to use some of the application’s features for free and request them to pay for paid features later. For instance, you can enable users of the application to browse accessible material for free of cost. Still, they will have to pay if they choose to watch videos, communicate with the teacher, or download some study material.
  • Selling – In-app purchases of courses and resources made an application’s user can incorporate accessible online or offline. Users buy their favourite systems and pay for all those courses they are engaged in. To turn the users onto the application, you can have a feature that allows the user to access about 20 percent of the information and then make a call to purchase the study material.

Also Read: A Complete Guide on eLearning Software Development

Cost to develop an application like edX?

The cost of developing an eLearning application depends on numerous aspects, such as:

  • Application Complexity.
  • The number of features and functionality you want in your application.
  • Native or hybrid application.
  • The number of third party APIs.
  • The origin of the company from which you are getting your application’s development is done.

An eLearning application with the must-have features mentioned above will cost you in-between 50k to 70K dollars. Furthermore, If you want to create a completely custom-designed application, it will cost you a high cost, time, and effort. To deliver the app, you will also need a team of skilled and professional developers. The actual price can be called out once you are done with your requirements. But on a rough basis:

  • 54k to 65K dollars in Eastern-Europe.
  • 109K to 125k dollars in Western and Central Europe.
  • 150K to 180K dollars in the US.

Keep in mind the much more intricate/complex your eLearning application becomes, the more and more time and money will take to build it and render it on various app stores.



No wonder eLearning is the future with an array of benefits. Well, suppose you are considering developing an application like edX. In that case, there is no excellent opportunity than now for educational startups or entrepreneurs to build their eLearning applications to earn big bucks. To help you achieve your dream of building a top-notch eLearning application, you’ll need a competent eLearning mobile app development firm. A firm with a strong reputation in building mobile apps and has a great team that guarantees that you don’t have a nightmare during the app development phase.

Need help in app development? Matellio has years of experience in app development.

For a better understanding of who we are, visit our website

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