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Written by:
Layla Acharya
Last Updated:
How to Create an Online Course With WordPress

How To Create An Online Course With WordPress

Online learning is the most effective way of reaching the most people. If you’re an educator and have great content and learning materials, you may want to try your hands at creating online courses.

Sometimes you want to make learning easier for your students, or you have an idea to sell online courses to a larger audience worldwide, and you’re already worried about what it would cost to do that.

One platform that can help you achieve this very conveniently is WordPress. With tools that offer great flexibility, you can leverage the functionality of the WordPress site to create online courses.

And you can make a lot of money doing that with your first online course. It’s even a great idea because you don’t need to have any programming technical knowledge. All you need is the course materials, a WordPress hosting account, and your domain name.

This article explains how to create an online course with WordPress.

But before we go on, we must clarify that there are two types of WordPress websites. There is the WordPress.com website which is a free platform that hosts everything for you.

It is used by bloggers to host their sites and provides themes and other features, although advanced features may require an upgrade. On WordPress.com, you don’t have to pay anything, but you can’t upload themes, nor are WordPress plugins allowed.

WordPress.org, meanwhile, is a self-hosted WordPress site that allows you to have your domain name and your web hosting. It is also straightforward to use as WordPress only serves as a backbone that keeps everything in place.

It is WordPress.org and not WordPress.com, which is referred to in the building of online courses.

So all you need is the content, and WordPress will do the rest. In less than an hour, your course can be live, and you can start reaching students worldwide (see also ‘How Much Is Study.com?‘). If you’re ready to learn how to create an online course with WordPress, let’s dive into it.

But first, what is the importance of creating an online course with WordPress?

Why create an online course with WordPress?

How to Create an Online Course With WordPress

Before explaining how online courses are created on WordPress, let’s start by looking at why we believe WordPress is a perfect choice for you.

You will consider many things before setting up your course(s) online. First, you want to consider cost, how easily it can be accessed by your target audience, how well you can manage the content, and the level of control you have over the content.

In all these areas, WordPress is beneficial for course creators. WordPress is also blogging hosting online course websites, so it is already tailored to reach audiences. For online courses, WordPress is also very efficient. Let’s look at the pricing, for example.

Earlier, we highlighted that WordPress makes course creation of courses so seamless. All you need (apart from your content, of course!) are a domain, a web host, and an LMS plugin.

An LMS plugin is an eLearning management add-on that helps you create and manage courses (for multiple online classes). To get all these on WordPress, you’ll spend about $260. That’s as cheap as it can get for the services it renders.

Also, you want to be able to control the content and customize it. WordPress allows for greater customization because it has almost unlimited themes and widgets that will enable you to make your website the way you want it.

Remember that you also own the domain of your WordPress site and the web host. This means you can do what you like with it, including moving to another online course site whenever you want to. This type of flexibility may not be available on other hosting platforms.

So to the question: why create an online course with WordPress? We say, why not?

How does WordPress compare to dedicated course platforms?

How to Create an Online Course With WordPress

Before the sale of own online courses became popular, there were no dedicated course platforms. Today, with online learning becoming a preferred learning mode, several platforms have been created to help content creators.

But WordPress has been a medium long before then. So, how does it compare to other platforms like Teachable or LearnDash?

While dedicated own online course platforms are hosted solutions tailor-made for selling online courses, WordPress is not exclusively designed for online learning. As you already know, the WordPress dashboard is beneficial for all kinds of websites, including learning sites.

Because they are designed specifically for online courses, dedicated platforms like Teachable are made as easy to use as possible without the user needing any coding skills whatsoever. That would mean you may need more infrastructure to get going on WordPress.

However, dedicated online learning platforms are more rigid than WordPress in terms of customization and flexibility. Although such platforms can manage most online courses well, you’ll find it harder to do if you need adjustments.

WordPress has lots of plugins which is an advantage but also means that you may have to sort out compatibility issues often. Dedicated course platforms would always handle any such problems themselves.

You may also need to do lots of troubleshooting with WordPress, which dedicated course platforms would handle.

However, if you want to incorporate a learning management system that will work well with your courses, you need to consider WordPress.

It seems very fair in the pricing for the services it renders, but some dedicated course platforms offer a very flexible pricing structure, with Teachable going for as low as $399 per year for a basic plan (or $39/ month).

For WordPress, you’ll need to purchase the domain name, hosting, and LMS plugin, which, as we noted earlier, may cost around $260. But if you want to add other functions like video hosting and advanced themes, you would pay more.

Creating an online course with WordPress

How to Create an Online Course With WordPress

Now let’s go through the details of how to create an online course with WordPress.

We assume you already have your course handy. What you’ll need are

  • Domain name
  • Web hosting
  • Set up a WordPress site
  • Install and configure a WordPress LMS plugin
  • Create and upload all of your content.

Setting up a WordPress site

How To Create An Online Course With WordPress 1

First, your domain name! A domain name is critical in online learning as it would feature prominently in your content. As noted earlier, you shouldn’t use a subdomain, as is the case with bloggers on the WordPress platform.

If you wish to name your site “EngrMaths,” it should be EngrMaths.com and not EngrMaths.Wordpress.com, as that is not as professional.

The domain name should carry credibility in drawing traffic to your online course. Your website hosting costs about $8 a month, and the domain name, which is independent of the website hosting, costs about $15 a year.

To buy your desired domain name, it must be available. You’ll search for it on a register, and once you’ve confirmed that it is, you can then proceed to buy. Make your domain name easy to remember, and always let it end with “.com.”

Once you have a domain name hosted by WordPress, you can choose a theme and customize your site.

WordPress will help you amazingly manage your website and give you the flexibility and options needed to customize it as you like.

Once you’re on WordPress.com, you will have the freedom to create as much content as possible with a backbone that supports your courses and gives ultimate visibility.

Choosing theme

Let’s talk about the themes. WordPress is most suitable because of the themes. Themes are essential because they project the website in exciting ways.

The beauty of WordPress is that it allows you to choose from many themes, and you can pick one that best defines your course.

The themes are designed by WordPress engineers and are available for use by the subscriber. An exciting thing is that you do not require any coding skills to give your course website that professional feel. All you have to do is choose.

We mean font, color, layout, typography, and arrangement when we talk about themes. Although implementing themes on WordPress is easy, you may want to hire someone to help you get the best out of the themes.

Depending on your content, it should be easy to find a theme that aligns with your course.

WordPress LMS ​Plugin

WordPress LMS ​Plugin

An LMS (Learning Management System) plugin allows you to run online courses on WordPress because it has the necessary features that help manage your course content.

The LMS plugin is what grants functionality to your website. And since you want to accept payments, it is the plugin that handles the subscriptions and fees.

WordPress allows you to upload plugins. You’ll need to use the plugin search to install a WordPress plugin. Once you’re in Plug