Which Digital Certificate Generation Tool is The Best for Your Business?

This comprehensive guide will walk you through some of the most popular choices, highlight their best and worst sides, and help you pick the one that suits your particular needs the fastest.

May 6, 2022
6 min
|      by
Anja Milovanović
digital badges education

Which Digital Certificate Generation Tool is The Best for Your Business? [Top 3 Picks]

You might think that there’s nothing special about finding the best digital certificate generation tool.

Just Google it, select one of the top three suggestions, throw some certificates together, and save them — that’s it, right?

Not quite!

In all honesty, most of the free online certificate generators suck. They’re either clunky and difficult to adjust or have outdated designs, and most have pretty poor features. 

Let’s look into some digital certificate tools that actually look good and feel good.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through some of the most popular choices, highlight their best and worst sides, and help you pick the one that suits your particular needs the fastest. 

Our selection includes:

  1. Virtualbadge.io;
  2. Canva;
  3. Credly;

Dedicate a couple of minutes to this blog, and we promise you’ll know what’s best for you by the end of the article.  

1. Virtualbadge.io.io: Professional Digital Credentials for Everyone!

Virtualbadge.io Website
  • Best for: Virtually any use case where issuing digital credentials is needed, for all business and individual needs.

We’ve built Virtualbadge.io to fill in the gaps other digital certificate generation tools leave.

First off, it’s adjustable, so anyone can use it — our digital certificates and badges can be used by:

  • Individual educators, coaches, trainers, and instructors;
  • Online schools and academies;
  • SMBs, enterprises, and one-man/woman shows.

Creating, managing, and issuing digital credentials with Virtualbadge.io is easy. The platform is adjusted to people who are working with digital certificates for the first time, so there’s no time wasted on learning how to use it:

Virtualbadge.io Certificate Designer

Create your own design, or upload a premade template — and your certificate is ready for advanced settings:

Virtualbadge.io Recipient View Editor

Virtualbadge.io puts special focus on social sharing, for LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Digital credentials are not only shareable, but have special settings that turn them into subtle ads for your business. Each time the recipient shares their certificate, it’s exposed to a wide audience — especially on LinkedIn, with bespoke integration:

LinkedIn Cerificates by Virtualbadge.io

Virtualbadge.io platform tracks shared certificates and provides you with data insights.

Pros of using Virtualbadge.io

  • Easy to use and onboard — Virtualbadge.io has a completely intuitive certificate design platform. You can start issuing digital credentials the moment you create an account: no additional downloads are required.
  • Fits any use case — We don’t divide our users according to industry, size, or number of certificate recipients: all are welcome and may expect the same quality.
  • Scalable tool — Features are completely scalable and you only pay for what you use! All pricing plans adjust to your needs for maximum cost effectiveness.

Cons of using VirtualBadge.io

Design simplicity may deter some users who put creativity first.

Certificate/badge designer allows you to design good-looking digital credentials, but only to a certain extent. Pre-made templates are streamlined as well, but still look professional and modern.

There’s a way to work around that: you can upload any design of your choice and tweak it within the platform. Once you do, there are no limitations when it comes to design!

Virtualbadge.io Pricing

All pricing plans have a seven-day free trial:

Virtualbadge.io Pricing

And, there’s more — we provide free resources:

Final Thoughts on Virtualbadge.io

Virtualbadge.io is a complete digital credentialing tool that easily adjusts to any user: individual, business, institution, all shapes and sizes. It doubles as a marketing channel on its own and it is easy to use — provided that you’re ok with streamlined in-platform design.

2. Canva: Boundless Design Options at Hand

Canva Website
  • Best for: Elaborate certificate and badge design without commitment (or design skills).

Canva has loads of pre-made templates, ready for customization and immediate use. You can use it for nearly anything: social media content, print products, and presentations, in image and video form. 

It’s a perfect hands-on for people wanting to dabble in graphic design, but don’t want to commit to complex programs such as Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator.

As far as certificates and badges are concerned, it has dedicated Badge Logos and multiple Certificate types. If you’re looking for a completely finished product, you can browse by categories and play with filters: style, theme, and color.

This is what the badge designer looks like:

Pick a template, add your text, download, and you’re done. There’s a possibility to tweak every element from a template you chose, or to make a badge from scratch. You can even upload your elements and build on them. 

The editor is rich, intuitive, and fuss-free. To make your badge pop, you can add video and audio, or even animation (naturally, this will only work for digital badge formats). QR codes are an option as well:

Canva QR Code Generation

However, if you don’t have a knack for design, it’s possible that the abundance of options will annoy you. It’s technically simple, but only if you already have something mapped out in your head.

After you’re done with badge creation, you can download it (PNG, JPG, PDF, SVG, GIF, or MP4 Video format) and instantly publish on social media or other platforms:

Canva Sharing your Digital Certificate

Certificate templates in Canva cover plenty of categories (Internship, Membership, Workshop, Course, Achievement, Academic, and more), and the certificate designer is pretty much identical to the badge designer.

Canva Certificate Template

Pros of using Canva

There's a lot to love about Canva. 

It’s a generous design-first tool with plenty of templates for various purposes, and simplified certificate/badge designer.

Canva will provide you with a pretty solution fast, and for a good price. It’s cost-effective, and most SMBs will manage with a free plan — but even Pro and Enterprise plans don’t cost too much. 

Cons of using Canva

Still, Canva has several considerable flaws if you intend to use it as a digital certificate/badge solution.

The digital aspect of it is weak. You can share it on several platforms directly from the designer, but that’s about it. As Canva focuses primarily on easy design (and is great at that), it lacks smart digital credential features:

  • There is no way to prove they’re valid — Certificates and badges made with Canva don’t have built-in badge data. There’s a basic QR code generator, but it comes as a separate app, and you have to generate different code for each unique certificate holder.
  • It lacks automation — Canva requires you to personalize each certificate and badge by hand; you can’t upload a list of names with information and let the magic happen.
  • You can’t track credentials’ data — Canva doesn’t provide you with an option to review data insights from badge sharing, uploading, and commenting. This leaves you without a lucrative marketing channel most digital credential software have.

Canva Pricing

Canva plans and pricing are customizable, depending on the number of people you have in your team and the scope of features you need. It’s free for registered nonprofit organizations and classrooms, but also has a great free plan for regular users (250k+ templates, 100+ design types, 5GB of cloud storage). 

Both Pro and Enterprise plans come with a 30 day free trial:

Canva Pricing

Final Thoughts on Canva

All in all, Canva is a handy and affordable design tool many agencies and marketers love and use. Still, it’s not the best digital credentialing solution because it lacks plenty of features you’ll need daily if you’re serious about issuing online certificates and badges.

3. Credly: Advanced Digital Credentialing for Enterprizes

Credly Website
  • Best for: Enterprise-level digital credentials for various use cases.

Credly is one of the most well-known digital credential solutions, with good overall reviews and features catering to large, global businesses and organizations. It offers solutions for:

  • Professional associations and employers;
  • Higher education and training providers;
  • (Digital) product certifications.

Digital certificates and badges provided by Credly are shareable across social media and comply with the Open Badges Standard. The digital credential recipients hold ownership over them completely and indefinitely, even after switching to another employer, school, or organization. 

There are 3 key products Credly offers to its users:

  1. Credly Acclaim — A centralized digital badging platform where users design and issue the badges, and then track the analytics. 
Credly Analytics
  1. Credly Workforce — It serves as a knowledge supervising platform for internal company use. After employees connect and share their badges, HRs and other relevant departments can make data-backed decisions: identifying learning opportunities, skill gaps, and new possibilities for employees.
  2. Credly Talent Match — This tool helps hiring managers fill in the job positions by revealing candidates that fit the criteria. Their badges signalize what skills and knowledge each of them has, and enable bias-free hiring, based on skills only.

Metadata Mapping is the most important feature, responsible for skills tags and criteria for earning the badges:

Credly Metadata Mapping

Pros of using Credly

Credly is a very complete solution that can fulfill most (not to say all) your corporation's needs for digital credentials. With in-depth insights on workforce skills and

Cons of using Credly

The first thing that comes to mind are prices — and they’re nowhere to be found.

To get even the slightest idea how much it’s going to cost, you need to contact Credly and ask for a quote (and get sucked into the sales funnel immediately). This makes Credly less flexible and hard to compare to other tools, especially because there are no free trials either.

Individual users and SMBs are better off with something else, as Credly is a powerful tool best used by enterprises and large companies. It is scalable, but remains impractical for smaller entities. 

Finally, Credly is not an instant solution. Learning how to use it takes some time and learning, and isn’t as fast as it could be with a “lighter” tool — as these reviews from TrustRadius prove:

Credly Cons
Credly Cons

Credly Pricing

There is no pricing information for Credly available — you need to contact them for pricing.

Final Thoughts on Credly

Credly is an enterprise-level digital credentialing tool with advanced features, used and loved by different institutions, companies, and organizations. However, it’s not as fast and easy to use, and exceeds the needs of an average SMB, let alone an individual user.

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

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