How to Build an Online Course Website with LifterLMS from Scratch

How to Build an Online Course Website with LifterLMS from Scratch

Are you looking for a quick and simple way to build an online course website based on WordPress? This article is for you.

There are many free and paid WordPress LMS (Learning Management System) plugins you can look for, which offer great help in building online courses with multiple features such as managing courses, creating lessons and quizzes and accepting payments, etc.

Among these, LifterLMS is one of the most powerful and popular LMS plugins. It also has a free version so you would not have to invest too much when you are just getting started. It is built in a very scalable way.

In this guide, we will show you how to easily create an online course website in WordPress with LifterLMS

Here are the steps we will cover to help you create an online course website in WordPress by using the free version of LifterLMS:

  1. Installing & Configuring LifterLMS.
  2. Creating Your First Course.
  3. Creating Your First Lesson.
  4. Using the Course Builder.
  5. Add a Quiz.
  6. Create a Certificate and Achievements.
  7. Memberships.
  8. Sidebar Widgets.

So without further ado, let’s get started.

Step 1: Installing and Configuring LifterLMS

LifterLMS is available in the WordPress plugin repo, so simply navigate to WP Dashboard > Plugins > Add New and search for it, install and activate it.

New LifterLMS menu will be added at WP Dashboard.

First of all, you have to create these necessary pages:

  • Course Catalog:

This page is where your visitors will find a list of all your available courses. Create a new page and use the [lifterlms_courses] shortcode to output the catalog content.

  • Memberships Catalog:

This page is where your visitors will find a list of all your available memberships. Create a new page and use the [lifterlms_memberships]  shortcode.

  • Student Dashboard Page:

The page where students can view and manage their current enrollments, earned certificates and achievements, account information, and purchase history. This page is extremely dynamic and outputs content for many uses. You must add the shortcode [lifterlms_my_account] to the content of this page. 

When a logged-out user visits the Student Dashboard page, they will see a login form and, if Open Registration is enabled, they will also see the registration form.

After logging in, the user will see their dashboard.

  • Checkout Page:

Page used for displaying the checkout form. Create a new page and add the shortcode [lifterlms_checkout].

After creating these necessary pages, you have to select them into the LifterLMS Settings. To do so, you have to navigate to LifterLMS > Settings from your WP Dashboard.

Now visit each setting tabs and select these pages accordingly. Save the changes.

Note: You have to add these newly created pages in the main menu.

Step 2: Creating Your First Course

LifterLMS Plugin provides an excellent user interface to create a course with the options you need. You can find it easy to make a full curriculum layout as well as edit and maintain it. 

To create a course, go to the Dashboard > LifterLMS > Add Course. You can then add/edit its title, description, and edit the settings easily.

  • Course Options Section:

From the Course Options section, you can edit the course settings such as Sale Page (Page for visitors and students who are not enrolled in the course), Course Difficulty Category, Featured Video/Audio, Restrictions (i.e Course Prerequisite)

 

Access Plan Section:

The next section is the Access Plan, here you can set up the access plans such as Free, One-Time, and Recurring Payments. You can also add the Plan Description here plus you can also select the Checkout Redirect Page.

 

Instructor Section:

From the Instructor section, you can edit the current course instructor plus you can also add multiple instructors as well. This is a very cool feature provided by the LifterLMS team in the free version of the LifterLMS plugin.

 

Student Management Section:

Here you can manage the existing enrollments. You can also enroll a new student manually here.

 

Featured Image:

If you want to add a featured image instead of featured audio/video, use featured image meta-box (on the right side of the edit/add course page).

Publish the course.

 

Step 3: Creating Your First Lesson

Now that you have created your first course. It’s time to create lessons for the course. LifterLMS allows you to create highly interactive lessons and then add them to your online course.

To create a lesson, go to the Dashboard > LifterLMS > Course > Lesson > Add Lesson. You can then add/edit its title, description, and edit the settings.

 Lesson Setting:

From the Lesson setting section, you can edit the lesson settings. Here you can add Video /Audio Embed URL for the lesson. You can also allow guests to view the content of this lesson without registering or signing up for the course.

You can choose a prerequisite lesson.

One another amazing feature in the LifterLMS is Content Dripping. Yes, you can show your lesson on any specific date/time, after completion of the prerequisite lesson or after course enrollment, etc.

There is also an option to manage the associated quiz. we will talk about it later.

Featured Image:

If you want to add a featured image instead of featured audio/video, use featured image meta-box (on the right side of the edit/add course page).

Publish the lesson.

Step 4: Using the Course Builder

The LifterLMS Builder allows you to manage the structure and outline of your courses.

You can get to the builder from three different places on the admin panel:

i. From the course’s list screen. Hover over the title of a course and click the Builder link from the displayed actions list.

ii. From the course edit page, locate the Course Builder meta box on the right side of the screen. Click the Launch Course Builder button.
iii. From any lesson edit page, locate the Course Builder meta box on the right side of the screen.
Once you click any of these, it will take you to the LifterLMS Course Builder.

On the LifterLMS Course Builder page, you will see the option to add elements on the right

From here you can add a Section to your LifterLMS course either by clicking the Section button or dragging it into the main course builder section.

Similarly, you can add lessons to your course. You can also add the existing lessons if you want by clicking the Existing Lesson button. Upon selecting Existing Lesson you will be provided with a search bar where you can scroll through your pre-existing lessons or search for them by name.

Changes will be saved automatically.

Step 5: Add a Quiz

You can add the quiz to your lesson by clicking on the quiz icon (question mark) under the desired lesson.

This will open a new popup where you can select the Create New Quiz.
Add quiz title, quiz description, passing percentage, limit attempts and time limit. You can add questions to your quiz by clicking on the Add Question button. This will open a new popup where you can select the type of question.

For the Advanced Questions, you have to add the Advanced Quiz add-on to your LifterLMS site.

You can also add an Assignment to your lesson in a similar way but for that, you need to download and install the Assignment add-on.

Enable the Published option from the top of the pop-up.

Step 6: Create a Certificate and Achievements

LifterLMS has great in-built feature for gamification and engaging your students. You can award certificates to the user on performing a specific event such as scoring 60% in a quiz, completing a lesson or completing a course, etc.

To create a certificate you have to navigate to Engagements > Certificates > Add Certificate.

Add the title, add description/content for the certificate, you can use Merge Code option to add different parameters such as site title, earn date or student name, etc.

 

Certificate Settings:

Enter a title for your certificate. For example Certificate of Completion.

Upload a new background image for your certificate.

To award the certificate to a student, you need to add an engagement trigger. To do so, navigate to Engagements > Add Engagement.
There is also an option to create Achievement Badges for your students. You can award them when they perform specific actions like enrolling in a course, completing a section, passing a quiz, etc.
To award the Achievement Badges to a student, you need to add an engagement trigger. To do so, navigate to Engagements > Add Engagement.
Once the student performed that predefined event/trigger, he/she can view that certificate/achievement badges on the Student Dashboard.

Step 7: Memberships

You can set multiple memberships in LifterLMS. To create membership follow these steps:

  • Navigate to Memberships > Add Membership.
  • Enter the title and description.
  • From Membership Setting section, select Sale Page, edit restriction setting as per need and add courses for this membership. Once the user purchases this membership, he/she will be enrolled in the selected course automatically.
  • Add the access plan for this membership.
  • Add a featured image from the Featured image meta-box.
  • Publish the post.

Step 8: Sidebar Widgets

You can also customize the sidebar for your courses and lessons. Navigate to the Appearance > Widgets. 

Backend:

Frontend:

Another Amazing Thing You Can Do with LifterLMS:

Here is the list of some other cool stuff you can do with the free version of the LifterLMS:

  • You can export or import a course in the LifterLMS.
  • You can also add multiple instructors to a single course for ease.
  • In LifterLMS you can send the customized emails to the user on enrolling to the course, completing the course or earning a certificate, etc (use Notification tab under LifterLMS > Settings). 
  • You can customize the user information fields available on the open registration form, Checkout form, and Account Update form. 
  • There are a lot of powerful and valuable shortcodes you can use in your LifterLMS site. Click here for these shortcodes.
  • LifterLMS can accept payments using PayPal or Stripe or WooCommerce. You have to purchase these extensions.
  • You can sell your LifterLMS course with Easy Digital Downloads by using our amazing product “LifterLMS EDD Integration”. Our article “How to Sell Your LifterLMS Courses with EDD” will help you to do so.

You can use the most popular free theme Astra with the LifterLMS. It will give you very pretty layouts with some additional options.

Wrap It Up:

LifterLMS is free and a full-featured LMS plugin. If you are taking your first step in building an online course website, LifterLMS will be a good start for you. This plugin is a powerful plugin with many amazing features and updated regularly by the LifterLMS team. Therefore, if you are just starting to look for a great solution to build an online course platform, LifterLMS is definitely the solution for you. Besides, it’s very easy to use and install with great features and great design right out of the box.

We’d love to hear if you found this article useful. Please comment below with your thoughts so we can continue to create helpful posts. If you need any assistance with the LifterLMS, don’t hesitate to drop us a line here or through our contact form and one of our Ninjas will be in touch ASAP.

How to Sell Your LifterLMS Courses with EDD

How to Sell Your LifterLMS Courses with EDD

Why LMS and eCommerce Integration Is Important

The rapid development in technology (smartphones, laptops, wireless internet, and cloud computing) has made the world hyperconnected. With advancement, these technologies are becoming more affordable. With the increased connectivity, we are doing almost everything on the internet. Naturally eLearning has also become very popular in recent years. What isn’t to like about the ability to share knowledge online with the world, and to be a lifelong learner online?

Setting up an LMS (Learning Management System) online is relatively simple, but keeping it afloat is quite difficult. That’s where LMS eCommerce integration is useful.

LMS and eCommerce integration not only enhances your users’ experience but also helps you increase course sales, as with this integration users don’t have to switch between multiple platforms and can checkout through a single platform. LMS and eCommerce integration also provides valuable information that lets you gauge the effectiveness of your courses. You can get insights such as which courses are the most and least profitable, which in turn can help you to improve your courses and increase revenue.

Our LifterLMS EDD integration is a striking combination of two popular plugins: LifterLMS and Easy Digital Downloads. It integrates the eCommerce and LMS worlds. This add-on allows users to enroll in LifterLMS courses and memberships on a purchase of EDD. Users can be enrolled in multiple courses with the purchase of a single download.

Integration Methods

This LifterLMS EDD addon provides awesome features for both courses and memberships. To integrate your LifterLMS with EDD, follow these simple steps:

After activating integration add-on, don’t forget to put the license key and activate it. To place the license key:

  • Go to LifterLMS > LifterLMS EDD.
  • Add your license key, and click on the Activate button.

Now the next step is to enable this integration.

  • Go to LifterLMS Settings > Integrations > Easy Digital Downloads
  • Check the enable option to enable LifterLMS EDD integration. 

Now you’re ready to sell your courses and memberships with this integration add-on. You can easily do that with the following, simple method.

Selling Memberships

To sell your memberships, enable the Membership Subscription option. Your users will be automatically enrolled into membership when they purchase EDD download. 

Create EDD download and select the membership from the dropdown. The user will be auto-enrolled in the membership when this EDD download is purchased.

Selling Courses

This integration allows users to enroll in single or multiple courses on a purchase of single EDD download. The method is the same as membership selling method. In downloads settings, there will be course options meta box.

Select the course from the dropdown so the user will be auto-enrolled in the course when this EDD download is purchased.

What to Use at Checkout

LIfterLMS supports manual payment gateway by default and doesn’t include a basic payment gateway, such as PayPal. To use other payment methods you need to buy their addons. However, EDD provides PayPal standard payment gateway by default.

If you are using LifterLMS and EDD on your website. Both LifterLMS and EDD will have separate checkouts. This is very frustrating and confusing for customers, as they can’t add both courses and products to a single cart.

This is where our LifterLMS EDD Integration add-on is useful. By enabling this addon, you will have a single checkout process for your downloads and courses. You can use the EDD default payment gateway, which utilizes PayPal standard to purchase the course or membership.

To give you a better understanding, we have listed a few reasons you might want to use LifterLMS EDD addon.

Integrating your LMS site with an eCommerce platform will boost your sales, and will provide an improved experience to your users. The bottom line: our LifterLMS EDD Integration addon has made LMS eCommerce integration much simpler and easier, and we hope you’ll try it.

We’d love to hear if you found this article useful. Please comment below with your thoughts so we can continue to create helpful posts. If you need any assistance with the LifterLMS EDD Integration add-on, don’t hesitate to drop us a line here or through our contact form and a ninja will be in touch ASAP. Thanks for reading.

Custom Course Sales Page in LifterLMS

Custom Course Sales Page in LifterLMS

Building an online course takes a lot of time and effort, and so does acquiring new students. Just because you’ve created an online course doesn’t mean that people will sign up for it – you need to promote it in clear and compelling language, in a way that makes sense to prospective learners so they’ll purchase access. As a course creator, you may feel that your strength is in teaching, not selling. As such, a sales page for your course is an excellent way to convert prospective students into active learners. Before you can educate students through a course, you have to educate them as per why they’d want to take it at all. Let’s have a look at how.

What Is a Course Sales Page?

The goal of a course sales page is to turn your visitors into buyers by persuading them to enroll. Normally a course sales page is comprised of the course description and marketing copy. To create an outstanding sales page that will optimally convert into sales, structure, and content are equally important. To make your course sales page effective, you should add elements such as a compelling heading to capture visitors attention, an opening story to introduce the problem, bullets to highlight benefits of the solution, an offer to introduce your course, FAQs, clear pricing details, testimonials, images, videos, etc. LifterLMS provides you two options for your course description

  • The un-enrolled view, this is a sales page with your custom content for non-members or visitors of your site.
  • The enrolled view, your course home screen with its default content like syllabus, progress bar, etc.

How to Create Course Sales Page in LifterLMS

Creating a course sales page in LifterLMS is an easy task, we will guide you how you can create a Custom Course Sales Page in LifterLMS. The custom sales page can be any page on the internet or on your site. LifterLMS provides the following four options for the course sales page:

  1. A Default sales page
  2. Show custom content
  3. Redirect to a WordPress page
  4. Redirect to custom URL

Default Sales Page

If you don’t have a custom course sales page LifterLMS provides Default Sales Page option for you. Default sales page will show default course content like course description, course syllabus, progress bar, etc. To display default course content for your sales page, follow these simple steps

  • Go to WordPress Dashboard
  • Navigate to Courses
  • Select a Course
  • Scroll down to Course Options
  • Under Course Options Select Sales Page
  • Under Sales Page Content, click on the dropdown menu
  • Select Display default course content to display your default course content like course description, progress, etc.

Show Custom Content

To set a custom sales page for your course in LifterLMS with custom content, select the Show Custom Content option in the dropdown menu.

 

After selecting “Show Custom Content,” a new dialog box “Sales Page Custom Content” will appear under the Sales Page Content option. Now you can simply create your custom course sales page by adding your custom content.

Redirect to WordPress Page

You can use any page builder of your choice to create your custom sales page. Design a beautiful course sales page and simply select the “Redirect to WordPress Page” option in the dropdown menu.

 

After selecting that option, another option “Select a Page” will appear under it. Click on that option and select your course sales page.By adding a members-only access plan to each course included in a given membership, you will allow a user to browse and discover specific courses included in membership they can purchase.

Restrict Pages and Blog Posts

LifterLMS allows you to restrict page and posts to users with certain memberships. You can easily do this while creating a post or page, via the meta box settings available on the right side.

Redirect to Custom URL

You may have your training or LMS on any other URL or a subdomain and so want to redirect your visitors to that URL. You can do that by simply selecting the “Redirect to custom URL” option in the dropdown menu.

 

After selecting that option a new option “Sales Page Redirect URL” will appear. Enter your sales page URL here to redirect your users to your course sales page.

 

Remember that the course sales page will be only shown to those students and visitors who are non-enrolled in that course. The paid/enrolled one will see the default course content. You can also use custom sales page feature for memberships.

We’d love to hear if you found this article useful. Please comment below with your thoughts so we can continue to create helpful posts. If you need any assistance with the LifterLMS, don’t hesitate to drop us a line here or through our contact form and one of our Ninjas will be in touch ASAP. Thanks for reading.

Top 4 Open Source LMS Platforms

Top 4 Open Source LMS Platforms

Setting up a Learning Management System (LMS) is an essential element for eLearning professionals. However, a robust and versatile LMS, that can support your eLearning development needs can be heavy on the pocket. Luckily, there is a wide range of Open Source LMS. They can offer you the practical and adaptable eLearning platform within your budget.

In this blog, we have shortlisted 5 open sources LMS platforms we think you should consider.

1.Moodle

Moodle standouts amongst its peers by being the most well known open source LMS options available today. Moodle gives you features like dashboards, learner tracking, and multimedia support giving it its popular stature.  

With Moodle, you can create mobile-friendly online courses, which you can integrate with third-party add-ons. Moodle has combined with PayPal and made the checkout process easy and straightforward. Moodle might be confusing for new users,  but mastering the tool is well worth it if you want total design freedom.

Pros:

Moodle LMS comes with a wide range of features which includes Gamification, Learner Portal, Mobile Learning, SCORM Compliance, Synchronous Learning, Video Conferencing, Built-in Course Authoring.

It lets you easily create courses and quizzes with multiple choices and assign them to specific users.

Cons:

Moodle comes up with a long learning curve. It will take a lot of time of newbies to learn how to use its wide range of features and implement them well. Also, many non-technical people find it difficult to install and maintain moodle.

Feature Highlights:

2. TalentLMS

TalentLMS is a popular open source Learning Management System. It is a cloud-based LMS TalentLMS designed to meet the educational and training requirements of organizations for their students, customers, employees, and partners

With its powerful features and great capabilities, it reduces the complexity of creating and delivering e-learning and makes the process simple and straightforward. As it is a cloud-based LMS, there is no need for installation, upgrade or backup, you can easily access the platform on any device.

Pros:

TalentLMS brings numerous features. The best parts are its simple and easy setup and configuration. It allows you to switch between different roles, so there is no need for individual accounts for an administrator, instructor, and learner.

Any good LMS supports SCORM and the xAPI, but TalentLMS is one step ahead and manages CMI5 packaging and credential handshaking as well. It offers configuration gamification settings with impressive presentation and usability of the platform.  

Cons:

TalentLMS Customer support opening times are more centered on Europe, though customers in Latin America or other parts of the world have to wait for few hours for a response. In reporting, there is no option that collects excel activities inside a course.

Feature Highlights:

3.Docebo

Docebo is among the most popular cloud-based e-learning solution. With its Software as a Service (SaaS) Learning Management System (LMS), it has revolutionized the online marketplace. Docebo has an awesome look and appeal for its users. It brings numerous features and supports all types of learning including blending, mobile and social learning initiatives.

Pros:

Docebo is a very clean and up-to-date platform. Users find it easy to use and manage. It is a very flexible platform and brings a lot of customization and also off the shelf features that allows you to plug and play.

Cons:

Although it is a very good LMS solution there is always room for improvement. Docebo should include a certificate in a congratulatory email after completion of the certification learning plan. To get the certificate, the user has to navigate back to the final course and download from a widget.

 Feature Highlights:

4. LearnPress

LearnPress is one of the most popular WordPress LMS plugins. It brings a bunch of features and add-ons. It has user-friendly UI and offers beautiful themes as well. It’s a free core plugin. However, you can extend its functionality with both free and paid add-ons.

 You can build your courses and lessons with regular WordPress post types, as well as a helpful Curriculum section that helps you organize lessons and sections with drag and drop. With the free and premium add-ons, you can include following courses in your courses:

  • Quizzes
  • Drip-fed content
  • Prerequisite courses
  • Certificates

Pros:

LearnPress brings numerous features. It lets you export course lists in for other LearnPress users.LearnPress offers flexible payment methods, Powerful control tools, and access and easy User Interface, with drag and drop course builder. Moreover, it also provides custom certificates for courses and activities and content restriction to members only.

 Cons:

 LearnPress LMS initial setup may be difficult for beginners. It provides limited support to a free user, however, paid subscribers to get full support from official forums.

 Feature Highlights:

 

 

Final Thoughts

Open Source LMS lets you build eLearning courses,  especially if you are ready to take the time to master all of its features. Sometimes, these platforms come with a learning curve, though the cost-savings and independence of design may be well worth it in the end.

We hope that you found our article helpful. If you think we missed some LMS that you think we should have discussed, feel free to share your experience with us.