Want to know how to create an online course using WordPress? Looking to build a learning management system (LMS) with WordPress?
Creating an online course website lets you share your expertise with others and at the same time earn money from it. And, online learning is quite popular nowadays as it provides a wide variety of content with the convenience of learning from anywhere and at any time.
While creating an online course might seem like an uphill task, WordPress makes it quite easy.
In this article, we’ll be providing a step-by-step guide on how to create an online course on WordPress. So, make sure you read the article till the end.
Why Create an Online Course with WordPress?
These days you’ll easily find several online course platforms and website builders. Then, why create an online course using WordPress?
First of all, WordPress is the most popular and powerful website builder powering more than 41% of websites alone. It’s the most flexible Content Management System (CMS) that allows customizing your site as per your desire and requirement.
Secondly, the availability of plugins and themes further helps you make your dream website come true. Hence, you can also find the best Learning Management System (LMS) themes and plugins for your online course website.
Third, with WordPress, you retain full control over your WordPress LMS website. It means you’ll be able to create, manage, and monetize your course content without any problem.
The open-source nature of the WordPress software and self-hosting provides flexibility. Whereas already hosted online course platforms like Udemy, Thinkific, Teachable, etc. don’t allow as much control.
Besides, no subscription or platform charge is required for WordPress, unlike Udemy, Thinkific, Teachable, and so on.
How to Create an Online Course Using WordPress? (Step-by-Step)
Having talked about why create an LMS with WordPress, let’s move on to the step-by-step guide.
Step 1: Setting Up Your WordPress Website
You should set up your WordPress site before you can begin your journey of online course creation. For this, you’ll need a domain name and web hosting and set up WordPress.
Buy a Domain Name for Your Online Course Site
To put it simply, a domain name is your identity on the web through which people will recognize and find you. For instance, the domain name of our site is themegrill.com.
So, you must be wondering where to buy a domain name? Once you come up with the domain name for your site, you can get it registered via domain name providers.
Choose a suitable domain name for your LMS website, and then register it with your favorite domain registrars.
Purchase Web Hosting
Likewise, web hosting means the space on the webserver where your site and all the files are located. You can buy hosting plans from top WordPress hosting providers such as Bluehost, SiteGround, Dreamhost, to name a few.
However, to make your task easier, we suggest using Bluehost. It’s officially recommended by WordPress and offers a reasonable price for hosting and a free domain.
Not only that, but it also comes with the WordPress Auto-install option while purchasing it. If it’s missing, you can still use the One-click WordPress Install option.
Install and Set Up WordPress
After the purchase of hosting, you should install WordPress. But if you checked Auto-install when buying hosting, then WordPress is already installed on your site. You’ll get your login credentials in your email. Using them, log in to your WordPress dashboard.
Thereafter, you can start making necessary settings and customizing your site as per your need.
Check our detailed guide on how to create a WordPress website here.
Step 2: Choose the Best Online Course Theme and Plugin
The next step in our tutorial on how to create an online course on WordPress is to choose the LMS plugin and theme.
By default, WordPress comes with some default themes pre-installed. However, you can install several other free or premium themes as per your need.
Choose a Powerful WordPress Theme for Your Online Course Site
Zakra is the leading multipurpose WordPress theme that’s being used by over 60,000 websites online. With this flexible theme, you can create any kind of website imaginable, including online course sites.
Since it’s built with popular page builders, creating stunning landing pages is a piece of cake. Further, the features like responsive design, tons of customization options, speed optimization, SEO optimization, etc. make it the best choice.
Besides, it takes away the pain of creating a website from the ground as it offers 65+ starter templates, including a demo for an online course site.
Find a LMS WordPress Plugin Compatible with Your Theme
Apart from the theme, you need to choose the right LMS plugin that seamlessly integrates with your theme. A WordPress LMS plugin provides you with the features and functionalities you need to create a full-fledged educational website.
Masteriyo is a powerful yet free WordPress LMS plugin built with much love and care for successful eLearning websites. It’s a modern React JS-based plugin that provides you a whole new experience of building unlimited online courses with interactive learning pages for the learners.
Other notable features offered by the Masteriyo are easy navigation, distraction-free mode, progress bar, advanced quiz builder, questions and answers for interaction among students and instructor, and more.
Apart from these incredible course-building features, the plugin also has an in-built order system that supports WooCommerce payment gateway like PayPal. Thus, you can also sell your courses for generating good revenue.
Step 3: Install the Zakra Theme and Customize
Once you’ve decided which theme to use for your site, you need to install the theme. Here, we’ll walk you through the steps on how to install both the free and pro version of Zakra and customize it. Let’s start!
i. Installing Free Zakra WordPress Theme
First of all, log in to your WordPress dashboard. Then, navigate to Appearance >>Themes >> Add New.
Then you’ll be directed to the Add Themes page, where you can easily download the free themes from the WordPress repository. Just type in Zakra in the search box and it’ll be displayed right onto your screen.
Finally, hit the Install button and then activate it by clicking on the Activate button.
Bravo! You’ve successfully installed the Zakra theme onto your site.
ii. Installing Zakra Pro
The steps to install Zakra premium are different from that of the free version. Here, you need to purchase the Zakra Pro by visiting its official site first.
To get access to premium Zakra starter sites (including the Online Course site), you can purchase any of the following 3 plans:
- Personal Plus- $67/Year
- Professional- $202/Year
- Developer- $209/Year
Once you buy the suitable plan for your site, you’ll be able to download the two zip files i.e. Zakra Pro and Companion Addons for Elementor.
The free Zakra theme + Zakra Pro plugin makes a premium Zakra theme. So you need to install the Zakra Pro as a plugin, not a theme. From your dashboard, navigate to Plugins >> Add New >> Upload Plugin.
Now choose a Zakra Pro zip file that you downloaded before and click on the Install Now button.
Then click on the Activate button. Soon after that, you’ll be asked for the License Key. You can get the license key on your account page on the Zakra theme website. It’s a unique code given to you after you purchase the theme.
Simply enter that key and click on the Agree & Activate License button to continue.
Congrats! You’ve succeeded in installing Zakra Pro on your site.
You can also install the Companion Addons for Elementor the same way as done for the Zakra Pro.
iii. Import an Online Course Demo Website
Since you’ve successfully installed Zakra Pro, you can now get access to all the free and premium Zakra starter templates. Hence, you can import the required demo using the one-click demo importer.
As soon as you activate the Companion Addons for Elementor plugin, you’ll see a dialogue box at the top that says Get started with Zakra. Clicking on it automatically installs and activates the ThemeGrill Demo Importer plugin.
Soon after that, you’ll land on the Demo Importer page with free and premium demos.
Now, search for the online course demo and hover your mouse over it. Then, click on the Import button.
Also, you need to click on the CONFIRM! button in the dialogue box that opens up once you press import.
In no time, you’ll see that your LMS website demo site is successfully imported. Now, you can start customizing your online course website as required.
iv. Customize Your Online Course Website Pages
The next step of our tutorial on how to create an online course using WordPress is customizing the pages of your website using the WordPress Customizer.
For this, go to Appearance >> Customize.
Now, you’ll be to play around with several customization options to make your site presentable to the users. Best of all, you’ll be able to live preview all the changes you make before publishing it.
The Global option, lets you customize every option affecting your site, such as color, background, typography, etc. Similarly, the Header and Footer section allow editing site logos, site title, and tagline, enabling/disabling the footer widgets, etc.
Besides, you can also set the appearance of your content, customize the colors, add menus and widgets, and even manually add CSS codes for further customization of your site. Once you complete making all the necessary settings, hit on the Publish button at the top.
Step 4: Install Masteriyo LMS Plugin and Configure Settings
The next step is to install the WordPress LMS plugin on your site and configure the necessary settings.
i. Install Masteriyo LMS
As we’ve mentioned earlier, the Masteriyo LMS is completely free of cost, hence, you don’t need to spend a penny to install it on your site.
For this, navigate to Plugins >> Add New from your dashboard at first.
Now, type Masteriyo LMS in the search box and click on the Install Now button.
After installation, hit the Activate button to activate Masteriyo on your site.
For detailed information, you can check our step-by-step guide on installing a WordPress plugin.
ii. Configure Masteriyo LMS Settings
Soon after the plugin is installed and activated, you’ll be automatically directed to a short setup wizard. The first thing you’ll see is the Welcome page.
Clicking on the Start Now button helps you quickly set up the plugin or you can also hit Skip to Dashboard for setting later. The choice is entirely yours. However, here, we’ll set up the plugin instantly, so click on the Start Now button.
It opens up the Course setting page. From here, you can Course per Row and Course per Page. Then, hit Next.
In the third step, you can enter the Questions Display per Page.
Similarly, the Pages lets you create essential pages for your LMS website like Course List, Learning, Account, and Checkout.
From the Payment tab, choose Currency and its position as per your site’s need. Then, complete your settings by clicking on the Finish button.
Step 5: Create New Courses, Lessons, and Quizzes
Once you complete the setting process, you can either go back to the dashboard or start creating a new course. Clicking on Create a new course takes you to the course builder page from where you can begin adding courses to your LMS site.
The best part is Masteriyo LMS has a single-page interface. So, you don’t need to go through the hassle of switching between courses, lessons, and quizzes to create a single course. Thus, making a course is just a breeze with this plugin.
i. Create Your First Course
To begin with, you can add an interesting Course Name at first. After that, add an appealing Course Description to let the learners understand your course content. You can even customize the description by making it bold, italics, changing alignments, and uploading images.
Likewise, it lets you add the major Course Highlights and Categories. Further, a Featured Image can be added to make your course appear more attractive. Once you complete everything, click on the Next button at the top.
Now, you can Add New Section to your content.
Firstly, enter your Section Name and hit on the Add button.
Then, you can Add New Lessons and Quizzes under the particular section by clicking on the Add New Content option. Not to mention, you can also add as many sections as you want by clicking on the Add New Section button.
ii. Add New Lesson
To create a new lesson, add your Lesson Name first. Now, you can detailly describe your lesson under the Lesson Description. After that, you can add the relevant Featured Image.
Moreover, you can also make your course productive by adding a video lesson. You can either embed the video from YouTube and Vimeo or upload a Self Hosted Video of a 60 MB size at maximum.
Then, click on the Add New Lesson button. Just to remind you, Masteriyo allows creating unlimited lessons without any restrictions.
iii. Add New Quiz
To add a quiz, click on the Add New Content from the course builder page and press the Add New Quiz option. There are three setting options to create a quiz. They are Info, Questions, and Settings. Under the Info tab, you can add a Quiz Name. After that, click on the Add New Quiz button.
Now, from the Questions tab, you can add new questions. For this, click on the Add New Question button.
You can write the Question Name and then select from 3 Question Type i:e True False, Single Choice, and MultiChoice. Besides, you can also assign the Points for each quiz question.
The answers will be displayed according to the question type you choose. For example, for True False, the answer options are True and False.
For Single Choice and MultiChoice, you’ve to manually add the answer option by clicking on the Add New Answer button. Also, don’t forget to tick the right option. After that, hit the Update button at the bottom left. And, you can click on the Add New Questions button to add other quiz questions.
Likewise, the Settings tab is divided into two parts, General and Display. From the General section, you can set full marks, pass marks, quiz duration, and a number of attempts to answer the quiz.
Again, the Display section lets you display quiz questions per page. You can either choose to display questions per page as defined in your global settings or overwrite it to set individually.
Lastly, make sure to click on the Update button to save all your settings.
iv. Individual Course Configuration
Next, in our tutorial on how to create an online course on WordPress, it’s time to configure the individual course settings. Mainly there are three setting options – General, Display, and Pricing.
Under the General setting, you can define the Difficulty level of the course as Expert, Intermediate, or Beginner. Additionally, you can set the Duration of the course and choose to Limit or Not Limit the students for course enrollment.
Under the Display setting, you can set the visibility of your curriculum. Either you can make your course Visible to Enrolled Students only, or make it Always Visible so that anyone can access it.
From the Pricing section, you can choose whether to make your course curriculum available to the learners free of cost or they need to pay for it. If you choose it to be Free, you need to further decide if students need to register for it or not.
Contrarily, if you choose to charge for your course, you can mention the Price in USD ($). Masteriyo supports one-time payment with a secured payment gateway like PayPal.
And this is exactly how we create LMS with WordPress.
Step 6: Publish Your Course Curriculum
Now, that you’ve added courses, lessons, and quizzes and configured the overall course settings, it’s all set to go live to your users. Before that, you can also take a quick preview of how your course looks from the front end.
If you feel like everything is good, you can go ahead to hit the Publish button. However, if other edits and addition of lessons, or quizzes are to be done, you can click on the Save to Draft button and publish it whenever you feel it’s ready.
This is pretty much it for our article on how to create an online course on WordPress.
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Want to read more of our blogs? Check out the article on how to create an eCommerce website using WordPress.