Launching Your Online Courses with WordPress: A Step-by-Step Guide to LMS Plugins

Why Use WordPress For Your Online Courses?

Online courses are a great way to share knowledge and skills. Launching your online courses with WordPress is a great choice for many reasons. WordPress is user-friendly, flexible, has many plugins that can turn your site into a powerful learning management system (LMS), and can be considerably more cost effective than dedicated learning platforms such as Kajabi.

Using an LMS for WordPress adds specific functionality that allow for course creation, student management, and progress tracking, drip feed of lessons, payments and more.

online courses with wordpress

This guide will show you how to launch your online course with WordPress, step by step.

Choosing the Right LMS Plugin for WordPress

Selecting the right LMS plugin is crucial for the success of your online courses with WordPress. The market offers several options, each with unique features. Your choice will depend on your specific needs and budget. spend some time looking through each LMS before deciding which one to utilise. In many instances you can test a free version of the plugin (free versions usually have limited functionality, such as the ability to take payments).

First, consider LearnDash. It’s one of the most popular LMS plugins for WordPress. LearnDash offers a wide range of features, including drip-feed content, quizzes, memberships and certificates. It’s user-friendly and integrates well with many other plugins and themes. Pricing starts at $199 a year.

Another great option is LifterLMS. This plugin provides a robust set of tools for creating and managing online courses. It includes features like memberships, course tracks, and advanced quizzes. LifterLMS also offers various add-ons to extend its functionality. Lifter begins with a free core plugin and ranges from $149 to $799 a year for various bundles of the plugin with add-ons.

Sensei LMS, developed by the creators of WooCommerce, is another excellent choice. Sensei LMS integrates seamlessly with WooCommerce, making it easy to sell courses online. It offers features like course progress tracking, quizzes, and certificates. You can begin for free with Senei LMS, and the full featured premium version is between $179 and $399 a year.

MemberPress is a powerful membership plugin that can also be used for online courses with WordPress. With MemberPress, you can create, manage, and sell courses with ease. It offers features like drip content, course access rules, and membership management. Pricing is between $359 and $799 a year.

WP Courseware is a user-friendly LMS plugin that makes course creation simple. It offers drag-and-drop course building, quizzes, and student progress tracking. WP Courseware integrates well with many WordPress themes and plugins, making it a versatile choice. a two site license is $159 a year.

DAP LMS online courses with wordpress

My personal favourite course creation plugin is DAP (Digital Access Pass). I have this plugin installed on 5 of my own websites, having tried many of the other plugins, both paid and free versions. I have the Elite 5 site licence that includesthe full suite of plugins including SPC (Smart Pay Cart) which is a complete funnel builder as well as a PayPal and Stripe integrated cart. There are amazing features available with DAP that are simply put, way beyond all the others! The Basic plugin is $149 a year, while the Elite is $399 a year (5 sites). A key feature of DAP that I really like is that you can pay for this plugin monthly instead of being forced to go the whole year outlay!

Choosing the right LMS plugin ensures your online courses with WordPress will run smoothly and provide a great learning experience for your students.

Setting Up Your WordPress Site for Online Courses

Before you start creating online courses with WordPress, you need to set up your WordPress site. The first step is to choose a reliable hosting provider. Good hosting ensures your site runs smoothly and can handle multiple users at once. Popular options include Siteground and Hostinger.

Once you have chosen your hosting provider, install WordPress. Most hosting providers offer one-click installations, making the process quick and easy. After installing WordPress, select a theme – we prefer DIVI by Elegant Themes as you can build exceptional WorPress sites even as a beginner!. Many themes are specifically designed for online courses and LMS plugins.

Next, you need to install and activate your chosen LMS plugin. Navigate to the Plugins section in your WordPress dashboard, click “Add New,” and search for your LMS plugin. Click “Install Now,” then “Activate” once the installation is complete.

After activating your LMS plugin, you will see new menu items in your WordPress dashboard. These will help you manage your courses, lessons, and students. Take some time to familiarize yourself with these new options.

online courses with wordpress

Installing and Configuring Your LMS Plugin

Once your WordPress site is set up, the next step is to install and configure your LMS plugin. This process may vary slightly depending on the plugin you choose, but the general steps are similar.

First, go to your WordPress dashboard. Navigate to the Plugins section and click on “Add New.” Search for your chosen LMS plugin—be it LearnDash, LifterLMS, Sensei LMS, MemberPress, DAP or WP Courseware. Click “Install Now,” then “Activate” once the installation is complete.

After activation, you will typically be guided through a setup wizard. This wizard helps you configure the basic settings of your LMS plugin. Follow the prompts to set up course pages, student registration, and other essential features. This is a crucial step to ensure your online courses with WordPress run smoothly.

Next, configure the plugin settings according to your needs. You might need to set up payment gateways if you plan to sell courses. Each plugin will have its own set of options for customization, such as branding, course layout, and email notifications.

Most LMS plugins also offer integrations with other tools like email marketing services, membership plugins, and analytics. Take advantage of these integrations to enhance your course offerings and improve student engagement.

Properly installing and configuring your LMS plugin is essential for creating a seamless learning experience. With everything set up, you can now start building your courses and enrolling students.

Creating and Managing Courses

Creating and managing online courses with WordPress is made easy with the right LMS plugin. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started.

First, navigate to the LMS section in your WordPress dashboard. You will see options to create new courses, lessons, and quizzes. Click on “Add New Course” to start creating your first course.

Begin by adding a course title and description. Make sure the description is engaging and clearly explains what the course is about. Next, add any multimedia elements like images, videos, and downloadable files that will enhance the learning experience.

After setting up the course content, organize it into sections and lessons. Each section can contain multiple lessons, making it easier for students to follow along. Use the course builder provided by your LMS plugin to drag and drop lessons into the correct order.

Once your course structure is in place, add quizzes and assignments to assess student understanding. Most LMS plugins allow you to create various types of questions, such as multiple-choice, true/false, and short answer. Set up passing criteria and provide feedback to help students learn from their mistakes.

Lastly, configure the course settings. Decide if the course will be free or paid, set enrollment limits, and choose the access duration. You can also enable drip content to release lessons at scheduled intervals.

Managing courses involves monitoring student progress and engagement. Use the reporting tools provided by your LMS plugin to track student performance and identify areas for improvement. Engage with your students through discussion forums and direct messages to create a supportive learning community.

online courses with wordpress

Monetizing Your Online Courses

Monetizing your online courses with WordPress can be done in several ways, depending on your goals and target audience. Here are some effective strategies to help you generate revenue from your courses.

First, you can sell individual courses. Set a price for each course and use your LMS plugin’s built-in payment gateways to accept payments. Popular payment gateways include PayPal, Stripe, and WooCommerce. This approach works well if your courses offer substantial value and are in high demand.

Another option is to offer membership plans. Use plugins like MemberPress to create subscription-based access to your course library. This model provides a steady stream of income and encourages students to stay engaged with your content over time. You can offer different membership tiers, each providing varying levels of access and benefits.

You can also bundle courses together. Create course packages that offer a discount compared to buying each course individually. Bundling courses is an excellent way to increase the perceived value of your offerings and incentivize students to purchase more content at once.

Offering free courses with upsells is another effective strategy. Provide a basic course for free to attract students and build trust. Then, offer more advanced or specialized courses at a premium. This approach can help you build a larger audience and convert free users into paying customers.

Finally, consider affiliate marketing. Partner with other businesses or influencers in your niche to promote your courses. Offer them a commission for each sale they generate. This strategy can expand your reach and bring in new students who might not have found your courses otherwise.

Promoting Your Online Courses

Promoting your online courses with WordPress is essential to attract students and grow your audience. Here are some effective strategies to help you market your courses and increase enrollment.

First, leverage social media platforms. Share engaging content related to your courses on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Create eye-catching graphics, post testimonials, and share snippets of your course material. Use relevant hashtags to reach a broader audience. Engaging with your followers by responding to comments and messages can also help build a community around your courses.

Next, utilize email marketing. Build an email list by offering a free resource or a mini-course. Send regular newsletters to keep your subscribers informed about new courses, special offers, and valuable content. Personalize your emails to make your audience feel valued and encourage them to enroll in your courses.

Content marketing is another powerful tool. Write blog posts related to your course topics and optimize them for search engines using keywords like “online courses with WordPress.” This can drive organic traffic to your site. Additionally, consider guest blogging on reputable sites in your niche to reach a wider audience.

Webinars and live sessions are excellent for showcasing your expertise and engaging with potential students. Host free webinars that provide value and offer a sneak peek into your paid courses. At the end of the webinar, present an exclusive offer to encourage attendees to enroll.

Collaborate with influencers and experts in your field. Partnering with well-known figures can boost your credibility and expose your courses to a larger audience. Offer them free access to your courses in exchange for reviews or promotions.

Lastly, don’t forget about search engine optimization (SEO). Ensure your course pages are optimized for relevant keywords like “online courses with WordPress” to improve your site’s visibility on search engines. Use clear and descriptive titles, meta descriptions, and alt text for images.

Gold Phoenix Group’s LMS Services

If you find the process of setting up and managing online courses with WordPress overwhelming, consider partnering with Gold Phoenix Group. We offer a premium service to build your WordPress LMS for you, ensuring a seamless and professional setup.

We specialize in installing and configuring the best LMS plugins for WordPress. Our team has extensive experience with LearnDash, LifterLMS, Sensei LMS, MemberPress, and WP Courseware. Of course, we use DAP/SPC ouselves and highly recommend this premium plugin over the others. We handle all the technical aspects, so you can focus on creating great course content.

Beyond plugin installation and configuration, we also offer comprehensive content creation services. Our experts can help you create entire courses from scratch, including course structure, multimedia elements, quizzes, and assignments. We work closely with you to ensure that the courses reflect your expertise and meet your specific needs. Contact us for specific course creation quotes.

Partnering with Gold Phoenix Group provides several benefits:

  • Expert Setup: We ensure your WordPress LMS is set up correctly and efficiently.
  • Custom Configuration: We tailor the LMS plugin settings to suit your requirements.
  • Professional Course Creation: Our content creation service delivers high-quality courses that engage and educate your students.
  • Ongoing Support: We offer continuous support and maintenance to keep your LMS running smoothly.

By choosing Gold Phoenix Group, you can save time and avoid the technical hassles of setting up an LMS. Our professional services ensure that your online courses are well-designed and fully functional, allowing you to provide the best learning experience for your students.