What is HighLevel?
HighLevel (formerly GoHighLevel) is an all-in-one online platform founded in 2018, originally designed for agencies, that has expanded to serve any creators online.
The platform provides a full stack of features for any course and membership owners to market, sell and deliver their online programs.
In this article we’ll mostly focus on the platform features and how it compares to other platforms we review on the site. (and not so much the agency side of things).
There is a lot to unpack here as HighLevel probably has the biggest feature stack out there.
Here is an overview:
For the sake of this review and to make it digestible and easier for you to compare to other platform options, we’ll focus our attention on some of the most important features.
Site & Funnel Builder
HighLevel has essentially taken the best part out of popular platforms and mixed it together.
When it comes to funnel building you’ll find a very close resemblance to Clickfunnels and the way you would build pages there.
It’s a very simple to use drag and drop builder, in which you’ll build sections and blocks to put together a beautiful design.
There are several premade templates you can start from to build your funnel depending on your needs.
Note that you can Save sections as templates to re-use them on another page, or set them as Global sections where updating it once will update it anywhere on the site (useful for header and footer!)
Other interesting features to note in the funnel builder are the ability to set up a popup that can be triggered on click or on exit intent.
Or the ability to see a Versions History to easily restore a previous version of your page.
Funnels are broken in visual steps so you can manage the sequence of pages easily (again, similar to ClickFunnels).
Note that A/B testing is currently not available but in the developer’s pipeline!
You can share funnels to other accounts and also import pages from ClickFunnels directly into your HighLevel account.
There’s really no limitation to the funnel builder features in the platform and it compares extremely well to other popular course platforms.
Websites are kept separately in your dashboard and you can create several websites within one account, with different custom domains.
A handy feature worth mentioning: there is an easy to use 301 redirect tool you can use!
You can also create a blog and posts there to add more content to your site that could help your SEO.
Again HighLevel really has it all with this part of things and it should be everything any course creator ever needs!
Checkout & Payment
You can take payment through HighLevel directly by connecting your Stripe and PayPal account.
Checkouts are set up just like any other page in the funnel builder by adding a 1-step or 2-step order form.
This makes them fully customizable!
You can sell digital or physical products or services by creating a Product on the platform.
Free, one-off, split and recurring payments are available with or without trials, and you can customize the billing period to your liking.
This is significantly more options than what most course platforms will offer.
If you’re selling an online course or membership that you want to host on High Level, you can attach that Product to your offer to give people instant access after they checkout.
The process to set up Products is a bit convoluted and unnecessarily complicated but these are things that you’ll only have to set up once.
Another way you can take payments is by sending invoices directly from your HighLevel account.
This tool is very unique and something you wouldn’t find in other platforms in the industry.
But also, if you're only in the prosecting phase, you can send Proposals & Estimates and keep track of all of them in the platform.
On top of that you can set up different taxes based on your client’s location or connect a QuickBooks account so that things are handled automatically!
The only shortcoming we’ll notice for checkout and payments in HighLevel is the lack of an affiliate program.
Course & Membership
HighLevel allows for an unlimited number of courses and membership hosting!
This also includes unlimited file and video, which can all be found in a handy media library where you can create folders and organize your content.
As far as the online courses side of things go, everything works very similarly to Kajabi.
Create Categories, subcategories and lessons which will host your curriculum.
You’ll have the choice between 2 layout/themes for your course, which is actually a bit less than Kajabi, still the best platform on that side, but compares well to other platforms.
Each post can contain 1 video, a body text and any number of files to download.
In the front-end this will look very intuitive and easy to navigate.
You'll have the choice among a few templates and layout for your program:
You can of course customize some of the branding elements, the sidebar and the main dashboard of your course through the course builder.
Another important part of hosting online courses is the ability to integrate learning tools to the experience of your students.
Unfortunately HighLevel is lacking a little bit in this area compared to other platforms…
You'll essentially have 2 options: Assignment and Quizzes.
- Assignment: these are homework you can give with instructions. The students can then submit the answer or upload a document for manual review.
- Quizzes: these are pre-set by you with a passing grade (or not) with as many single or mutliple choice question as you want.
That being said, HighLevel compensates with a lot of other features as long as you’re not looking for anything too specific for the learning experience part of things.
For example, you can build a Community product to allow your members to connect:
This is a simple Slack-like place when you can create channels with posts with files that people can comment on.
This is a great way to create some engagement in your online programs
Email Marketing & CRM
The last core feature we’ll review and that most all-in-one course platform offers is the email marketing, automation and CRM system.
Critical to manage your leads, list and paid students, this tool can sometimes be a little basic and many creators end up integrating a specialist tool (ActiveCampaign, Hubspot, Keap,etc.)
However, HighLevel really set the bar high here!
You’ll have access to a fully-fledged email & CRM system:
Each contact on your list has an extensive profile where you can manage tags, automations, conversations (via SMS) and their activity in your system.
Of course, you can easily import and export your current list of contacts in the system.
On the email side of things, you’ll get access to a visual block builder for your emails and text, which you can save as Templates to reuse later.
The most impressive feature is the Automation where you’ll be able to build advanced Workflows, similar to what you could in ActiveCampaign:
These can be very advanced and have granular triggers such as: Instagram DM, Birthday, Invoice,etc.
You can create different Paths based on conditions and really automate a lot of things in your business and marketing.
This include sending SMS and being able to continue the conversation within the app:
Note: you’ll have to pay for a separate Twilio account in order to be able to use the texting feature.
As much as this part of the platform is really impressive, it also comes with a fairly significant downside: you can only send up to 10,000 emails for free.
Beyond that you’ll have to pay for an SMTP provider like Mailgun, SendGrid or others. Which will add at least another $35/mo to your bill, depending on how many emails you send every month. Or you can use the built in LC email system for a lower rate: $0.675 for 1000 emails
That being said, having your own provider will allow you to build your own sender’s reputation and potentially achieve a better deliverability over time.
Lastly, HighLevel also comes with a real sales pipeline and deal manager.
Setup different stages in your sales process and manage your different potential clients.
This is normally only available in specialist softwares and is truly unique inside of an all-in-one platform like HighLevel.
As mentioned before, we wanted to make this feature breakdown digestible and easy enough for you to compare to other online course platforms.
But HighLevel does have a LOT of bells and whistles and other really cool tools for you to play with.
So let’s highlight these here and give you a taster of what they’ll help with:
- Calendar/Scheduler: This will replace platforms like Calendly or Acuity and allow you to set up Availabilities and Appointments with clients. You can also create teams and assign different kinds of leads or calls to certain staff members for example.
- Review Management: This feature will let you connect your Google My Business and let you manage your review from there. You can also easily send request from review and make this process automated
- Social Media Scheduler: Yes it’s what you think! Connect your social media platforms and you’ll be able to schedule your posts directly from within HighLevel. This can replace to some extent platforms like Hootsuite or Buffer.
- Paid Ads reporting: You can integrate your Google & Facebook ads and keep track of your campaigns from within HighLevel! Changes are still better to be made directly in the dedicated platform.
User Experience: Is HighLevel Easy To Use?
With all of these amazing features, one thing you might wonder and that could be important is whether the platform is easy to use.
HighLevel’s dashboard is fairly clear and intuitive overall:
Each of the different processes and steps you have to go through to set things up is clearly labeled and explained.
That being said, we are still talking about a LOT of features to unpack here and it is admitted that you will have to go through a period of learning.
If you’ve never used any all-in-one platform before, this can be a steep learning curve.
We do think that this shouldn’t stop anyone from getting their hands dirty but if you are tech averse, then HighLevel might be a bit of a stretch for you!
Some demo and free courses are available to walk you through anything you might want to learn in the platform:
From an end-user perspective (your student) everything is very well designed and simple enough!
Pricing: How Much Is HighLevel?
This is one area to break down to fully understand what you get for your money!
First of all, you can get started for free with HighLevel with the 14 Days trial.
After that, you have two plans to choose from:
As we mentioned at the beginning of this review, HighLevel is initially geared towards agencies having multiple clients and needing several sub-accounts.
If you’re an online course creator managing your business, you’ll never need the $297/mo subscription!
So most people should be fine with the $97/mo, which would be VERY competitive compared to other all-in-one platforms in the industry.
That being said, we mentioned earlier that there is at least one other expense to take into account when using HighLevel.
Most online course creators use email marketing as one of their main communication channels and will therefore very probably need to pay the extra $$ for a SMTP Provider or emai marketing LC. (see email marketing section further above).
Which would bring the total cost of HighLevel more in line with the likes of Kajabi, Kartra,etc. (maybe a little more).
See our full review of HighLevel pricing and how it compares here
HighLevel Support & Community
Lastly, let’s take a look at what kind of support and fellow user community you can expect by joining HighLevel.
The platform has several channels you can get help from!
There is an extensive Help Center and video course tutorials available.
And if that’s not enough you can open a ticket via a live chat or call their 24/7 support line and talk to a real person!
This should reduce some of the overwhelm and hesitation some creators may have when starting with a new platform and with so much new stuff to learn…
Finally, you’re not in this alone! HighLevel has an official Facebook group community of over 21,000 members
There is also a separate group for you to find virtual assistants and specialists to help you get setup if you don’t want to do the legwork.
Our Overall Rate: 9/10
Community & Support Rating:
HighLevel is a show-stopper!
With its very exhaustive list of features, it’s not hard to understand how its growth has been skyrocketing in just a few years.
It’s really high in our personal list of all-in-one platforms and should be one of the top platforms to consider for most online course creators.
It does cater to people with advanced needs and that would be comfortable using such an extensive tool.
The few main shortcomings mentioned in this review can probably be excused when seeing what the platform does have to offer.
You can get started today with a 14 day free trial!