WordCamp Notes: Getting Your First Online Course Published - Bodie Quirk

September 29, 2018


What do you need to build an online course?
7 things you must know about

1. domain name
3 kinds of urls
the url matters
     your own name
         various courses on unrelated topics
         common denominator is the author

         where the course IS the website
         want the domain to be appropriate for the content
         if the WHOLE website was a single course/topic

         lots of different courses
         all fall under same umbrella
         multiple courses, single topic, any number of authors

2. hosting
     good hosting is worth every penny!
     has to be wordpress specific
     24/7 support
     includes staging and backup

     wpengine, kinsta, flywheel, siteground - recommended hosts

3. theme
     the foundation of your website
     structure, function, and design

     lean, quality code
         doesn’t need to include EVERY feature a website might have, that's what plugins are for

     how well rated is the theme? how many people are using it?

     how well supported is it? is there a community around that theme?

     popular themes:
         Beaver Builder (very lean, very well coded)
         PageBuilder Framework (newer theme, but this is the author's life passion, lots of regular updates)
              very highly rated theme, tons of good press

4. LMS
     Learning Management System
     plugin that turns your site into an 'online course platform'
         will install a bunch of page types to create lessons, courses, etc.
         this is what makes your site into an online course
     course and lesson management
         - new sections that are separate from the rest of yr site
     student management, enrollment
     membership/restricted content
     student progress, engagement
         keeps track of where students left off when the last logged out of the site
         a good LMS allows students to learn at their own pace
     payment gateway, access (add-on)
         usually handled by add-ons
     LMS must be compatible w/ your theme
     sometimes plugins fight w/ other plugins and w/ the theme

     example LMS's
     different prices

        per site, per 10 sites, per add-on bundle, for 2 sites, for 10 sites, etc.

    want to get up and running QUICKLY so you can start creating content and making money

5. Plugins
tools to make the course building easier

     page builders
     custom features
     workflow helpers

     page builders
         drag and drop
         front end design
         no coding
         page builders have CHANGED wordpress for the good
         allows people without code or design background to get in and do more things

         Oxygen - oxygenapp.com

     custom features
         custom fields   
         slide-out menu
         forms and SEO
         things to improve the online course experience

     Advanced Custom Fields - plugin for adding custom fields

     SuperSide Me - for slide out side menu
         if your theme doesn’t support a slide-out men but you want it, this plugin fixes that

     workflow helpers -
         make the wordpress experience faster
         "Improved Save Button"
              changes "publish" button to "publish and [other thing]"
                        publish and duplicate, list, view, return, etc

         "Admin Page Spider Pro"
              takes every piece of content, allows you to add those to the "top" so you can (from anywhere) go to anywhere in yr site in 1 click

6. content
     essential pieces that every course should have
     what do people WANT when they go thru a course
         structure and text
         extras - quizzes, things to engage with for the students

     Scriviner - desktop app for writers
         great for course builders
         can create your course hierarchy on the site, plan out a talk, break it up into sections that we convert into videos later
         all organized into ONE file
         can import  PDFs
         so as you get ALL your content, it can be together, then you can copy it over to WordPress

     screenflow, Camtasia
     both really good
     just need to make sides and talk into the mic, boom, there's your course

         lesson layout
         course description
         ANYthing that you repeat in each lesson, course, etc.

7. resources
     to learn  more about coursebuilding
              super prolific course builder

        podcast - podcast.lifterlms.com
              GREAT podcast for course creators