You have created an online course that you desire to sell online. The next move would be to select the perfect platform- whether to go for WordPress with LearnDash or opting for a third party e-learning platform form making and selling the online courses. Both these platforms have their own pros and cons. What matters while choosing your online course application is your instant requirements that are best served by the features of a learning management system (LMS) and the value you are looking for in software.
However, the leverage which selling courses from your e-learning site offer in contrast to a hosted solution are as follows:
You receive an open-source application from WordPress and the LMS plugin Learndash and would not be hampered by a closed code-base beyond your control. Developers prefer WordPress & LearnDash over e-learning platform like Thinkific as it focuses more on providing the core aspects which are regarded as “must-haves” for creating courses and delivering it.
An in-house e-learning website is mainly used when training materials are company-specific whereas third-party e-learning platform content is used extensively for generic instruction and training.
Your in-house e-learning site has greater creative control, can be sold to individuals and can be edited easily. On the other hand, a third-party e-learning platform can be available instantly and is less expensive, non-configurable and has minimum niche content.
You can sell your courses to the learners directly through an in-house learning platform and get a big share of your sales revenue. That may not be the case, for instance, if you are selling your online course via a third party that performs like a middleman and retains a major cut arising from every sale.
If you prefer calling up on the phone for offering technical assistance for your offered courses then a hosted solution is better as it is provided in lieu of monthly payments.
Some individuals appreciate feature flexibility and select WordPress and LearnDash, while others opt for lesser installation procedures and select hosted course set up tools because fewer options indicate a faster set up.
Based on what you find effective and valuable, you should pick the solution as it is the value that determines buying preferences. Besides, defining your value also helps to conserve time and cost-saving all the way through.
Every Learning Management System Is Not Perfect
If you are seeking an ideal solution for your e-learning course, then the perfect bet would be to have one that can be custom made. In that manner, you are more likely to have all your needs fulfilled. A great start would be, to begin with, features that are indispensable- the “must-have” functionality. Later, you can induct the “great-to have” features.
All these assist to retain your focus on the important aspects without complicating things with feature overcrowding. Mentioning that it can be said that complete customization can be done with a WordPress Learning Management System such as LearnDash. Being very flexible in nature and open in its source-code WordPress platform makes any skilled developer dive straight away.
The more complicated the requirements of a learning management system, the sharper the learning curve becomes, and the greater the time taken for configuration. If you can develop or can hire a developer, in that case, WordPress is the best choice. If experimenting with different settings is not something you prefer, then WordPress can be annoying for you. You are likely to be more comfortable by a third party e-learning platform, which can be installed with the feature flexibility that WordPress offers.
Course Content Creation Is Different From LMS Configuration
Bear in mind that configuration is different from course content creation (which means creating the course or material that will feature in the quizzes and lessons of the course).
Employing WordPress as your LMS would require you to install it for the matter not directly associated with your course. Some of the “no – content” elements may include:
- Select a domain name and hosting provider
- Choosing a WordPress theme (free vs. paid)
- Configuring the design alternatives for the theme
- Configuring your theme pages
- Configuring plugins associated with your pages such as a contact form
- Writing content for every page
When you apply a complex theme offering you different options, it may be more time consuming compared to using it for a simple site. Right now, if you already possess a WordPress site then bothering about these steps is what you need not, as LearnDash will operate on any modern theme.
If you presently do not have a WordPress site, you probably have to follow the above-listed steps and if you are a newbie to WordPress it would mean a substantial amount of time investment.
You have to think about the timing resulting from ‘extras” on your WordPress LMS. Components such as:
bbPress forum installation
BuddyPress setup and installation
Gamification employing plugins such as BadgeOs
Installing Shopping Cart and setup
Any different plugin you require for the learning environment
Creating online courses and selling it is a long-race, and not a 100 m dash or sprint. You have entered into a long-game. So, you need to take your time and perform it flawlessly and properly. It will pay off in due time for both yourself and your learners. So choose wisely, and as per your need when opting for selling courses from your in-house e-learning site or going for a third party e-learning platform.