So you want to sell online courses?

You’ve got great content and a subscriber list.

But how will you deliver your fantastic courses to your customers? 

In this post I’m going to be sharing my recommendations for WordPress plugins that you can use to create online courses.

If you’re not using WordPress, there are a few great external hosting websites that’ll host your courses for you…but that’s for another post which I’ll be publishing in a few weeks.

What is a WordPress plugin?

A plugin is a piece of software that adds specific functionality to your existing WordPress theme. Don’t confuse a plugin with a theme. They’re completely different.

What is a WordPress theme?

A WordPress theme provides the front end styling of your site, in other words the pretty visual appearance of your blog is down to your theme. Some plugins are not compatible with all themes, so always check before installing or purchasing a new plugin. I had a horrible surprise when two plugins clashed which led to my hosting company deactivating my site! Yikes…

Are all plugins free?

Many plugins are free.

However, it’s pretty common to pay for a plugin which offers your site sophisticated or advanced functionality. Fortunately, they’re all reasonably priced from around $129 to $300 per year.

A course plugin only creates the framework for your online courses.

You’ll need to organise, format and design your content prior to uploading it to your online course platform.

If you need further step-by-step guidance on how to create an online course from scratch, then download my FREE GUIDE now!

The following plugins are ones I would personally recommend. I haven’t used all of them myself but have had feedback from colleagues and friends in the online course industry who have used them.

As with any product, there are always pros and cons – so make sure you determine your needs before forking out your cash.

If you are wanting to purely sell online products such as video’s or pdf’s and not courses, you could also use a WordPress membership plugin.

So let’s jump in! I’ll be highlighting the main points only, you can click on the plugin names to be directed to their sites for a deeper inspection.

#1 WP Courseware

An easy to use plugin for creating online course content.

Cool Features:

  • Create course outlines (snapshots)
  • Upload all forms of course media content
  • Drag and drop functionality when building courses
  • Drip feed content to your audience
  • Email notifications of course updates and progress
  • Quizzes, surveys and certificates
  • Integrates with most e-commerce plugins for easy payments

Downsides:

  • Requires a membership plugin to manage members
  • No reporting
  • Configuration of courses requires several steps
  • Does not integrate with all autoresponders but will via a membership plugin such as Memberium

Cost:

$99 per year for 2 site licence

#2 Zippy Courses

Developed by Derek Halpern of socialtriggers.com. Zippy Courses claims you can set up your online course in minutes.

Cool Features:

  • Quick and easy to use user interface
  • Course analytics and reporting
  • Drip feed content to your audience
  • Drag and drop interface
  • Collects payments easily
  • Integrates with most autoresponders

Downsides:

  • Not compatible with all WordPress themes
  • You will need to install a separate membership plugin
  • Can only be used as a standalone site
  • No quiz functionality but not important unless you’re a college

Cost:

$199 for 1 site licence, support & updates for one year

#3 Lifter LMS

Is a learning management system and a membership site.

Cool Features:

  • Create membership levels to protect your content
  • Student profile pages
  • Create courses in minutes using an easy interface
  • Drip feed content to your audience
  • Create promotions for your courses
  • Mobile responsive design
  • Course certificates
  • Course analytics and reporting
  • Built in e-commerce

Downsides:

  • Custom CSS or recoding can be tricky
  • Appearance isn’t exactly pretty

Pricing: Free download or 1 site licence $149

#4 Learndash

Developed by Justin Ferriman, who also has e-learning experience which in my eyes can only be a good thing. This plugin has loads of features but a few downsides too.

Cool Features: 

  • Create and sell online courses
  • Course content protection
  • Payment integration with e-commerce
  • Drip feed content to your audience
  • Course forums
  • Setup events
  • Email notifications to course participants
  • Advanced quizzing but agin this isn’t important unless you’re a college or uni

Downsides:

  • Definitely requires an investment in learning to use the software
  • A knowledge of CSS would be handy
  • Course categories become blog categories so this may annoy you

Costs:

$129 for 1 site licence, support and updates for one year

And those are the major players in the WordPress course plugin market…but watch this space as I believe it’ll change rapidly.

Want to learn even more? Then download my free guide to creating online courses now.

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