Do you want to create an online course website with WordPress?
Creating an online course is one of the best ways to build an engaging community and make money online.
In this article, we’ll show you how to properly create an online course website with WordPress.
To make it easy to navigate, we listed down the exacts steps that you need to follow to make an online course website.
- Install WordPress to Build an Online Course Site
- Install the LearnDash LMS plugin in WordPress
- Add a new online course
- Add lessons, quizzes, and assignments to your course
- Add course completion certificates
- Sell your courses online
- Promote your new courses
Requirements to Create an Online Course
Before we start, you should know the basic requirements to make an online course website. Take a look:
- Domain name: You’ll need a domain name (like google.com or isitwp.com) that your users will type in their browsers to find your online course website.
- Web hosting: It’s the storage space on the internet where you’ll upload all your files, including images, audios, videos, etc. As users access your online course website, they’ll be directed to your web hosting server.
- WordPress theme: A theme is a layout design or skin for your website that’ll make your content presentable and professional to your users.
- LMS software: A learning management system (LMS) is a software that helps manage your online courses, assignments, quizzes, certifications, and more. It comes as a plugin or addon for your WordPress site.
With all these things, you can set up your online course quickly and easily.
Let’s take a look at our step by step guide on how to create an online course website in WordPress.
Step 1: Install WordPress to Build an Online Course Site
You’ll find 2 kinds of WordPress sites. WordPress.com, which is a hosted solution, and WordPress.org, which is a self-hosted and highly flexible platform. For more details, you can read our guide on WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.
For your online course website, you need WordPress.org that comes with unlimited custom options and a super-easy administration panel.
Now, you’ll need a domain name and web hosting to start with your WordPress site.
We recommend Bluehost. It’s an officially recommended hosting provider by WordPress.org.
For IsItWP users, they offer a free domain name, free SSL certificate, and upto 65% OFF on web hosting plans.
You can start your online course website for as low as $2.75 per month. Isn’t it a great offer?
Next, you’ll need to select a theme for your website. You can take a look at our handpicked list of the best and most popular WordPress themes.
Not sure which theme to choose? We recommend using the ElegantThemes Divi.
Divi comes in 2 flavors: Divi Theme and Divi Builder (plugin).
Divi Theme is best for users who want to make customization by using one of its 100+ full site packs that come along with the theme. It also includes several theme layouts for an online course website.
We also recommend a few other themes that work with LearnDash smoothly.
- Astra Pro: It comes with a built-in LearnDash Academy starter site. In addition, Astra is fast, lightweight, and a fully optimized WordPress theme for SEO.
- OceanWP: It’s a free WordPress theme with tons of addons, extensions, and features to set up your online course website.
- Academy Pro: Built on top of the Genesis Framework by StudioPress, this theme is ideal to sell courses online.
If you need further assistance, check out our article on how to install a WordPress theme.
Step 2: Install the LearnDash LMS Plugin in WordPress
After setting up your website, you need to get your hands on the best WordPress LMS plugin.
We recommend LearnDash. It’s a 1-stop solution to create and manage online courses, assignments, certifications, badges, and more.
Next, you need to navigate to LearnDash LMS » Settings from your WordPress admin panel. From there, go to the LMS License option to add your license details.
You can get your LearnDash LMS license from their website.
Hit Update License to use all the features of LearnDash LMS plugin.
Now visit the PayPal Settings option from the top menu. Fill in the fields correctly to collect payments for your online courses in your PayPal account directly.
Hit the Save button to continue.
In the steps below, we’ll also tell you how to integrate other payment solutions with LearnDash LMS plugin.
Step 3: Add a New Online Course
Now that your LearnDash LMS is set up, you can start adding new online courses to your site.
To create a new course, you need to go to LearnDash LMS » Courses. From there, hit the Add New button.
On the next page, you can add the course title and course description, and other settings including categories, tags, and a featured image.
After that, you can scroll down to the course settings and update other course info, like course materials, price type, access list, course points, and more.
You can sort courses and course direction. You can also add a certificate to your course.
Upon adding all the information, you can click on the Publish button, and the course will be live.
Step 4: Add Lessons, Quizzes, and Assignments to Your Course
After adding the course, the next thing you can do is add lessons to your course. For this, you can go to LearnDash LMS » Lessons page and click on the Add New button.
You can start by adding the title of the lesson and a brief description. Adding a lesson is similar to adding a WordPress post, which means you can add photos, image galleries, videos, and other visual content to make a lesson interactive.
Next, you can scroll down to the Lesson settings. From there, you can associate your lesson with a course, add the lesson’s availability date, and more.
You can check the Upload Assignments option to let your users submit assignments for the course. To view the submissions, you can visit LearnDash LMS » Assignments page.
In case you want to break your lesson into further sections, you can go to LearnDash LMS » Topics page.
Topics also come with the same options as a lesson. Plus, you can assign the topic to both a lesson and a course.
Moreover, you can also add quizzes to a LearnDash LMS course.
Add a Quiz to Your Course
To create a quiz, you can visit LearnDash LMS » Quizzes page and add a title and description for the new quiz.
After that, you can scroll down to Quiz settings to associate it with a course, lesson, and certificate.
Scroll down further to Quiz Advanced settings to activate and deactivate multiple options related to your new quiz. It includes hiding quiz title, hide buttons, display random questions, and more.
You can click on the Load Template button to add questions to your quiz. It’ll load more options on the top of the page.
Visit the Questions tab to add new questions for your quiz.
Below, you can select the Answer Type and add answers for your questions. You can add a single choice, multiple-choice, free choice, and other types of answers.
Add as many questions as you want for your quiz and then go back to the Edit Quiz section. Click on the Publish button and your quiz is ready.
Step 5: Add Course Completion Certificates
You can add course completion certificates. Your users can access their certificate as they finish a course.
To design a certificate template, you can use any image creation software like Canva or Adobe Photoshop.
Once your certificate design is ready, visit the LearnDash LMS » Certificates page and hit the Add New button.
You need to add a title for your certificate and upload the certificate template as the featured image.
Now, you can click on the LearnDash shortcodes option from the navigation menu bar on your text editor.
Select the shortcodes and insert them one by one per your needs. Click on the Publish button and your new certificate template is ready.
You can add this certificate to a course, and the users will get it automatically on the completion of all lessons.
To add this certificate, you need to edit a course and scroll down to the course settings. In the Associated Certificate dropdown, you can select the certificate that you want to add.
Click on the Update button.
Step 6: Sell Your Courses Online to Members
Learndash lets you transform your website into a fully functional learning management system. However, if you want to add more eCommerce features to your online course website, you’ll need to integrate MemberPress alongside Learndash.
With MemberPress, you can provide more payment methods, sell courses in a bundle, sell access to courses as an ongoing subscription, and more.
With MemberPress, you’ll get a powerful payment system, user subscription, and more. It’s the best WordPress membership plugin and it works with LearnDash seamlessly.
You can also integrate WooCommerce with LearnDash to integrate an online store and add even more payment solution to your site. It’ll give you tons of options to sell courses, books, etc.
Step 7: Promote Your New Courses
After your new courses are fully set up, you can introduce the course website to your users by creating beautiful and attractive landing pages.
Beaver Builder also comes with dozens of ready-made demo templates that you can use on your online course website. These built-in landing page templates can give a kick-start to promote your courses to more users.
The next step for promotion is to optimize your online course website for search engines. You should check out our WordPress SEO tools to rank your site quickly.
You also need to track your visitors, so you can create the right courses that your users might be interested in on your site. We recommend using MonsterInsights, which is the most popular WordPress Google Analytics plugin.
It’ll help monitor the users’ activity on each page, so you can make necessary changes on your site and grow your business to the next level.
We hope this article helped you learn how to set up an online course website with WordPress. You may also want to check out our guide on best WordPress online courses and training providers.