We’re all making changes due to the pandemic we find ourselves in. With uncertainty around us all, taking stock of things, and reevaluating our careers, either due to loss of employment or looking for additional revenue streams, it’s at the back of our minds.
As a by-product of this mindset, many have taken the plunge, set up online courses, taught others, and shared knowledge.
All it takes is knowledge, your knowledge, and of course, a little work. If you’re using WordPress already, then creating online courses is easier than you think.
What Is LearnDash?
LearnDash is a WordPress LMS Plugin (Learning Management System) designed to make setting up an online course a breeze. Boasting an excellent array of features LearnDash is one of the most popular LMS WordPress plugins available.
Create quizzes, courses, assignments, certificates, and more. Sell subscriptions to courses, memberships, and the list goes on.
It’s one of the most rounded and feature-rich Learning Management Systems for WordPress on the market.
LearnDash is a premium WordPress plugin available in three different packages. There’s the basic version, a plus package, and lastly, the pro package.
The only real difference between the three is how many sites you can use it on.
Choose a package that fits your needs; if you have multiple niches, it will make more sense to have a license to cover you for more than one site. That way, you can focus all of your course content and make it relevant, rather than having courses that are unrelated to each other.
Benefits of Using LearnDash
It doesn’t matter where your knowledge lies; LearnDash can help share your expertise and educate others. If you know a thing or two about a specific subject or range of topics, your talents and experience could benefit someone else.
You have a story to tell and knowledge to impart. LearnDash enables those with skills and know-how to share and teach others.
You could be a baker, a developer, make balloon animals, a photographer, whatever niche your skills lie in, using LearnDash you can teach others and profit by selling online feature-rich courses.
Some of the Features Available in LearnDash
There is a wealth of features available in LearnDash; below is a brief outline of some of them.
- Focus Mode removes distractions, such as sidebars, and lets users focus on the lesson at hand.
- Course Builder, build courses via drag and drop.
- Create quizzes, offer single answers, multiple choice answers, surveys, fill in the blank questions, and more.
- Drip Feed course content, offer new content either on a specific date or number of days after a user enrolls.
- Dynamic Forums, add forums to your courses for users to network and share knowledge.
- Certificates & Badges, offer certificates upon successful completion of a course.
- Monetize, sell subscriptions, or one time purchases of your course content, payment methods supported are Stripe, 2Checkout, and PayPal.
Whichever package you opt for, installing LearnDash is easy. In your WordPress admin, go to Add New plugin, click on Upload Plugin, select the ZIP folder from your purchase, and upload it. Once done, you’ll see the below screen.
Welcome to the LearnDash Bootcamp. It’s here you can find a host of tutorials and guides on how to create courses with the course builder, creating quizzes, setting up user registration, and selling subscriptions—basically, everything you need to know to get up and running.
An excellent place to start is the LearnDash Overview, and it’s here you can get a feel of what is possible and educate yourself.
A video accompanies each section in the Bootcamp for those who prefer to learn visually and links to the documentation if you’re a reader. You’ll never be too far away from resources to help you if you become stuck.
Creating Course Content
We’ve gone ahead and created some courses, lessons and content, following the incredibly helpful Bootcamp.
We Have Three Courses Available:
- How to Start A Blog In 2020
- Choosing Web Hosting For Your Project
- What WordPress Theme Should I Use?
Each one of these courses has dummy content for this tutorial. We could go on and on about each section and how to do it; however the Bootcamp will tell you more than we could.
Suffice to say it’s easy to create courses, lessons, topics, and content.
WordPress Themes For LearnDash
Content for your courses is one thing; it’s not worth an awful lot if the theme you’re using isn’t up to scratch, messy, or has poor navigation.
There’s a great article on the subject showcasing the best LearnDash themes for eLearning.
In this case, we’re going to use the LearnDash Academy template, read on to find out more about it.
The LearnDash Academy Elementor Template
The Academy template is designed upon LearnDash users’ experience, a tried and tested method that works. Polished and very professional; your courses will standout.
What if we wanted to make changes, maybe we don’t like blue? Everything is changeable, first things first we need to create a landing page.
Creating a Landing Page for Online Courses
In the WordPress admin, we’ve created a new page called Course Home. This will be the landing page for the courses we’ve made for this tutorial. Next, we need to edit the page with Elementor.
Once we’ve selected the edit with the Elementor option, we now need to add the template itself; to do that, we need to access the Astra starter templates.
Doing this will load all of the starter themes for Elementor the Astra theme has to offer, locate the LearnDash Academy template and select it.
There are four templates in total, Home template, All Courses, About, and a Contact template. For this tutorial, we’re going to choose the Home template and import it.
Making Changes To The LearnDash Academy Template
Once imported, you can start to make changes throughout the template via Elementor. Changing elements, layout, and more are straightforward, highlight the item you’d like to change.
Here we’ve made some minimal changes, header image, and color, plus changed the icons in the boxes and color.
Using the Academy template as a base, you can make changes to your heart’s content, dragging and dropping elements to suit your style.
The template makes use of the LearnDash Course Grid add-on. Using this add-on you can display courses in an eye-catching way, see below for an example:
The Course Grid add-on is completely free and is included in your purchase of LearnDash. Visually striking, we’re sure you can agree, all it takes is a shortcode:
There are multiple parameters available using this shortcode, such as hiding the image associated with the course, hiding the description, showing progress made so far, only showing specific courses from a chosen category, and more.
Benefits of Using Elementor for LearnDash
Design visually, edit in real-time, no complex coding required. You don’t need to understand CSS or HTML to build your course landing page or course pages.
Focus on your course content as your primary concern. Use Elementor to add the finishing touches from an aesthetic point of view.
Tips on Using Elementor for Your Course Website
- Edit course pages visually via drag and drop.
- Change layouts and color schemes.
- Save page layouts as templates to reuse on other pages/posts, rapidly increasing build time.
- Add calls to action and email subscription boxes.
- Create landing pages for marketing campaigns, highlighting specific courses using the Course Grid add-on.
- Create a free course page, showcasing all the free resources you have to offer, highlighting paid for courses, and the benefits of subscribing/paying for them.
Using the Elementor page builder, your online course could be up and running in no time at all.
Wrapping Things Up & Tips on Using LearnDash
Using LearnDash to make a course website or add online courses to your existing site is easy; here’s a few tips on how you can use LearnDash and build a user base.
- Offer free courses to generate interest; offering free courses is a great way to get people to sign up.
- Create classes that engage with users, offer quizzes, test their knowledge, keep them interested, and involved.
- Save your best course content and sell subscriptions for it. Generate revenue from your experience.
- Up-sell premium courses alongside free ones.
- Keep the course structure simple and easy to follow.
- Offer lesson materials, such as what you will need for this course (if applicable)
- Reward users for completing courses by offering certificates.
- Create forums on course content, let users network, share their knowledge with others, and build a community.
- Create a booking calendar for virtual tutoring lessons to supplement your courses. Embed the booking calendars directly into your LearnDash course page or your profile.
If you’d like to learn more about LearnDash and its features, take a look at their website, read testimonials and usage cases, and find out if it’s the right solution for your needs.
If you’re using LearnDash already, leave a comment, and share your course website, we’d love to hear from you!