Having your own online course is a great way to grow your business and supplement your income. Once you develop your material, the course is fairly hands-off compared to doing 1:1 client work. Courses can bring in thousands and thousands of dollars without you having to be involved on a regular basis.
It’s no surprise more entrepreneurs are wanting to create online courses, but a lot of entrepreneurs I’ve talked to get hung up when it comes time to create the course website.
There’s a myth floating around that you shouldn’t do it on WordPress, and you need a big external platform like Kajabi to run a course.
This simply isn’t the case. Not only can you do it on WordPress, you can do it by yourself on WordPress. You simply need to have the right framework.
Divi is my WordPress framework of choice. Created by Elegant Themes, Divi is a powerful framework that allows people to build their own websites without any design experience, yet it’s powerful and robust enough to allow those of us who are professional designers to do some really amazing work.
I use Divi to run course my course website and memberships. Divi in and of itself won’t give you the functionality you need to protect content from non-paying students. Divi is not a learning management system, but you can do your entire website from sales pages to lesson pages in Divi, and then simply protect your content with a plugin designed for courses.
To use Divi for your online course, you need to do a few things:
1. Buy and Install Divi
Divi is created by Elegant Themes, and while you cannot buy Divi itself, you get it with your Elegant Themes membership. (Shameless plug: Students in my DIY web design course get Divi as a bonus, so you won’t have to buy it.)
Go buy Divi, download the Zip file, and then upload it to your WordPress website.
Do this by going to Appearance > Themes > Add New.
2. Set up Divi
Divi works with the Divi Builder, and this drag and drop tool allows you to build and design your website from scratch with no design experience. Of course you can get fancier if you want to, but that will require learning some light coding.
You’ll need to do the following:
- Set your theme options
- Customise your theme settings
- Design your course sales page
- Design your checkout page
- Design your Thank You page
- Design your course lesson pages
- Save these designs as templates in your library
When you save your pages to the library, you’ll be able to use those designs easily in the future. This is the fastest way to get a course setup on Divi. Design the lesson page once, and then whenever you add a new lesson to the course, you simply load the page design, and customise for the lesson. But don’t make all of your pages until after you install your course plugin.
Good elements of lesson page layouts:
- Video player
- Text for the lesson details
- Button to the Facebook group or support forums
- Navigation for the course
3. Find and install your Course Plugin
You’ll need a course management plugin to sell a course. I use OptimizePress, which allows me to sell courses and memberships from the same website. There are a lot of plugins out there, but I like the flexibility of being able to sell a course, a membership, or both from the same plugin. But you may decide you want to use something else.
Do some research about WordPress Course Plugins, and purchase it.
Once you find your plugin and download it from the company you purchase it from, you have to upload it to your website.
Do that by going to Plugins > Add New.
4. Set Up Your Course Plugin
This is the scariest part, but also the easiest.
When you setup your course plugin, you really just need to define your course details. How much does it cost? Lifetime access or does it renew? How do they pay? PayPal or Stripe?
When you design your pages you’ll be able to use the plugin to set the page to course content. If you made your pages first, you’d have to go into each page and then set it to course content. Each plugin handles this a little bit differently, so make sure you read the documentation first.
The Course Plugin is the easiest part. You’ve already done the hard work with designing your site. The Course Plugin is just going to protect certain material so only paying students can access it.
Setting up your course in Divi really is that simple. Once you have all your course content set and protected by your course plugin, you can launch! I suggest launching to a couple people first to make sure the system is working correctly.
I’d love to hear about what course site you launch with Divi. Leave me a comment and let me know.