Kelby vs Lynda vs Udemy: Online Learning Sites Compared

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Kelby is focused primarily on learning creative topics like photography and Adobe suites with their 10,000 videos. Udemy has individual video courses rather than a monthly subscription. You can learn more specific skills here like succeeding at Blackjack.

One of the biggest modern movements is e-learning. It’s now no longer necessary to learn everything sitting in a physical classroom. There are a number of sites out there now that will let you educate yourself from afar. Here’s a breakdown how some of them compare to one another.

Kelby Training

Kelby Training, also called Kelby One is a site for learning photography, Photoshop, Lightroom and other related creative courses. You can call for help at 800-201-7323 Monday through Friday from 9 to 530 EST.


  • Over 10,000 Online Training Videos-You can watch these videos on photography and Photoshop whenever you want. This all adds up to more than 800 hours of training.
  • Over 450 Classes- These include classes for using the program Lightroom, how to photograph objects in motion outdoors, Wedding Photography Systems and more.
  • In-person One Day Seminars- If you want instruction in person sometimes, you can Kelby’s training schedule for when they’re going to be near you. Hands on experience with camera work and program work can be helpful.
  • 24 Hour Free Trial-You can check out all the training videos for 24 hours for free to see if the site is going to work for you.
  • Free Member Discounts-If you have a subscription to Kelby, you get free deals on things like Phottix, or Mpix Pro, or even Apple or Alien Skin products. There are over one hundred potential savings deals.
  • Kelby App-This makes learning possible even while on the go. So you can watch the videos whenever you have a few spare moments waiting at the airport or anywhere else.
  • Focus on Adobe Products-The site gives not only videos, but also other forms of interactive media for engaging and learning Adobe products.


Udemy is a more general e-learning site where you can learn about much more than just photography. They have over 3 million students.


  • Wide Range of Learning Categories-You can learn about Business, Marketing, Design, IT, Math, Music, Humanities, Languages, Teacher Training, and Music.
  • Personal and Non-academic Courses-The site isn’t just for academic learning. You can learn how to be good at Blackjack, for example. You can learn about how to manage stress with Stress Management course, or about personal finance or self-esteem.
  • Become an Instructor-Udemy is an open site where you can offer your own courses. According to the site, instructors earn $7,000 on average. The number of instructors that are able to earn on the site is 96% of them. You get 100% of the revenue when you drive the sale and half when Udemy gives it to you.
  • Over 16,000 Courses Available-This number is likely continually growing as well due to the ease of becoming an instructor.
  • Free Courses-There are a number of free courses available through Udemy as well. Examples including learning how to make iPhone apps, how to make Android apps, Facebook marketing, Linkedin marketing, Social media selling and many more.


Lynda has more advanced courses than other sites, and more projects and exercise files. You can contact them during business hours PT at 888-335-9632. They have some weekend hours as well.


  • Gift Memberships-You can buy membership gift cards for friends with a few clicks on the site.
  • PlayList Center-This feature allows you to just pick a general topic like “Design Page Layouts.” The site will then play a number of different videos in a playlist all related to the topic. This lets you get an overview of what the site has to offer on that topic.
  • Course Exercises-Unlike with some other sites like Kelby, Lynda offers course exercises to go with their videos. This is accessible through the “Exercise files” button listed at the top of each course.
  • Over 2800 Video Courses-This isn’t as many as some other places, but the videos are often better organized and easier to follow.
  • Custom Playlists-You can also form your own playlists of videos based on instructors that you like. This gives you added control over your learning.
  • Some Free Video Samples-While there aren’t many entire free courses on Lynda, you can sample courses by watching a handful of free videos out of the many videos in each course.
  • Running Transcript-In order to help you follow along, there’s a running transcript that highlights the words being spoken on the video. This can make it much easier to follow along.
  • Variety of Courses with A Tech Bent-The site has some variety such as offering education courses. But for the most part the focus is on tech topics like 3D and animation, Video, Photography, Developer, Design Business and CAD topics. There’s also an entire section of Software courses to choose from.

Head to Head


Kelby costs just $25 per month. The annual membership runs $249 or so, which will save you $50 off the month to month rate.

At Udemy, instead of a monthly fee, you pay for individual courses. These courses can vary from free to as high as $500. On average many of them come out to under $50.

Lynda costs $25 for a monthly subscription, and $250 for a yearly description. This means that Lynda and Kelby are nearly identical in terms of cost, while the price of courses at Udemy is totally dependent on individual instructors.


Kelby has a significant number of training videos, but their support is a bit light since there’s no live chat support and the contact hours or only during business hours. There’s an email form you can fill out as well but it’s likely only available during business hours. The site doesn’t offer much live instruction though, mostly just the videos.

Udemy has a much wider scope than Kelby does. The support seems even less prevalent than with Kelby since this is done mainly through FAQ pages, forums and email. The site is ideal for finding free material and one-time courses on just about any topic you can imagine from learning to be a Blackjack pro to learning how to code. Quality of courses isn’t guaranteed though since many of them are crowd sourced. So be sure to read the reviews first.

Lynda is a bit more interactive than other sites that have pure video support. You can also do exercises here. The support is similar to Kelby with business phone hours and email options.