How to make digital certificates for your online course or training program for free

Appear more professional and build trust online by using these 3 simple and 100% free hacks to benefit from digital certificates.

Jun 21, 2022
6 min
|      by
Malte Zander
digital badges education

Certificates are the spearhead of every successful online course or training.

On the one hand, they provide legitimacy and elevate the perceived value of your content. On the other hand, they are the last touchpoint in your learner’s journey with your company and a token of recognition and accomplishment.

Being someone that already participated in countless (believe me… countless…) online courses, I noticed that very few of the course owners issue their own certificates (in the case of Udemy) or even any certificate at all.

It was unbelievable for me to see how many providers don’t make the most out of this opportunity of leaving a lasting professional impression by attaching a bit of attention and care to their certification process.

It is the easiest way to bind your alumni even after the course or give them something they can proudly share on social media.

But don't worry. In this article, you will get 3 simple hacks on how you can benefit without any effort and 100% for free from digital certificates.

#1 Use free online designers to create unique and outstanding certificate templates [link to tool]

Nowadays there are a lot of amazing free design tools. However, it is difficult to choose the right tool for the right purpose. A powerful free design tool like Figma might be great for an advanced UI designer but too overwhelming for the use case of simple certificate design.

After a lot of testing and (partially) desperate hours in front of several online services, I can absolutely recommend the free version of Canva for this purpose. You can choose from various beautiful certificate templates and change the text content, add shapes or (after a brief free sign-up) even upload images. Anyone with the mission to design a compelling certificate will have a great time using Canva.

Select and edit any template from this extensive library
Select and edit any template from this extensive library

A great alternative, if you do not want to spend too much time on the design and just get an outstanding certificate design fast, is the free certificate generator by Virtualbadge.io (let’s talk about it in #2)

#2 Automatically fill the names of your recipients into your certificate template with this free tool [link to tool]

Yep. Design is the one thing. But everyone that already created certificates on MS Word knows the hustle of manually typing each recipient name into the template after duplicating it.

Edit the certificate template and define your recipient's name placeholder
Edit the certificate template and define your recipient's name placeholder

You could create Word Mail merge or compromise your designs by using LMS templates. Ooor you can use the Hack #2 and use this free Certificate Generator where you just:

a) simply design your certificate or choose from the templates
b) define a placeholder for the recipient's name
c) upload an excel list with all the recipient names
d) download 100s of ready-to-use certificates with one click

Upload your recipient list to automatize your personalization process
Upload your recipient list to automatize your personalization process

It‘s pretty cool that this tool is entirely for free without any signup. I’ve seen quite some companies charging for this exact same service.

#3 Send professional LinkedIn Certificates to your recipients with this free tool [link to tool]

That hack is the cherry on the cake for me personally.

You probably already wondered how you can issue certificates that will be added to the LinkedIn profile of your recipients.

Did you know that you can do this by yourself, for free and super fast?

This free tool by Virtualbadge.io allows you to create a link that you can send to your recipients which will guide them to adding your certificate to their LinkedIn profile (in the name of your LinkedIn organization).

Type in your information and get a certificate link that you can send to your recipients
Type in your information and get a certificate link that you can send to your recipients

Summary

As you can see, there are many simple and free hacks that you can use to elevate the experience for your participants with a great certificate process.

I hope I was able to show you that it doesn’t always take a big budget to appear more professional and to continuously build trust online. Feel free to reach out to me if you have some more in-depth questions on this matter. I am happy to share my experience and knowledge with you.

* You can find the organisation ID in the URL when you access your LinkedIn Company page as an admin.

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