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.