Pankaj Shah

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How to use WordPress to create and sell online courses



Online learning is gaining popularity in the past few years. Experts predict the market’s growth will reach $72.41 billion between 2020 and 2024.

How to use WordPress to create and sell online courses

Create and sell online courses using WordPress

If you have skills or knowledge to share, consider monetising them as online courses. Besides helping other people, this business idea also makes for a great side hustle, as it lets you earn passive income while still maintaining your main career.

Keep reading to learn how to create and sell online courses using WordPress. This content management system is free to use and versatile ‒ excellent for newbies who want to start their online course business.

1. Purchase a web hosting plan 

Web hosting is the online service that lets you publish your website content on the internet. To obtain it, purchase a web hosting plan from a hosting provider ‒ a business that rents server space to store your website’s files and data.

However, keep in mind that there are different types of hosting to choose from. Shared hosting is the perfect entry-level service for websites with low to medium traffic. Then, once your business grows, upgrade to a higher-tier plan or different hosting type.

2. Choose and register a domain name 

A domain name is an address that visitors type on their browser to access your site. Register one through a domain registrar, then point the domain to your web host. Alternatively, get a web hosting plan that comes with a free domain registration fee for an easier setup process.

When choosing a domain name, make sure it’s unique yet easy to remember. Avoid hyphens and numbers as they can harm the domain’s readability. If someone has claimed your desired name, pick a different variation of the keywords or pair the name with another top-level domain.

3. Set up WordPress 

The easiest way to set up WordPress is by using the installer provided by your web hosting. For example, if your web host uses cPanel, install WordPress as a cPAddon via the control panel’s Site Software interface.

However, if your hosting provider doesn’t provide an installer, you may do it manually. Download the WordPress installation package from the official page, then follow the instructions to install it on your site.


4. Customise the website 

The installed theme will determine the look of your WordPress website. Luckily, the platform provides tons of free themes in its theme directory. Alternatively, buy a premium theme from theme marketplaces like ThemeForest and ThemePalace.

Make sure to choose a theme that’s responsive and mobile-ready. It should also support popular plugins and have good ratings. Don’t forget to test its loading speed with a website speed tester like Pingdom or GTmetrix.

After installing the theme, customise it using WordPress’ built-in editor located in the Appearance -> Editor menu. Another way to modify your site’s appearance is by installing a page builder plugin from the plugin directory.

5. Install a WordPress LMS plugin 

A plugin is a piece of software that expands the site’s functionality. In this case, installing a learning management system (LMS) plugin will give you all the tools needed to create and sell courses on your site.

Some of the free options include Tutor LMS, Sensei, and LearnPress. Consider going with a premium plugin like LearnDash, Good LMS, or CoursePress Pro if you have extra money to spend.

When choosing an LMS plugin, check whether it has everything needed to build your desired course structure. Some of the basic features to look for include a course builder, quiz builder, content drip functionality, and supported payment gateways.

6. Create your online courses 

Once your website is up and running, it’s time to create the courses. Here are a couple of tips to help you get started:

  • Know your target audience. It will help choose subjects that cater to their needs and interests.
  • Offer different course formats. Doing so will make the courses more interactive and exciting.
  • Combine different types of content. While creating text-based courses is easier, share audio and videos to provide more dynamic and accessible learning methods.
  • Chunk the lessons. Overwhelming students with too much information will only harm their learning experience and motivation.
  • Research your competitors. It will help you price the online courses and decide on the appropriate marketing strategies.

5. Start selling 

Build an audience base by promoting your online course site on various channels. If you target younger audiences, social media platforms will boost your brand awareness much faster. Additionally, publish snippets of your video content on YouTube to attract new students.

Blogging is also great for driving traffic to the website. Repurpose the course content into blog posts and invite visitors to join your mailing list. Alternatively, offer referral rewards and turn existing students into your brand marketers.


The rising popularity of online learning creates opportunities for professionals to monetise their skills and knowledge. Whether you want to earn passive income or merely help others, there’s no better time to start than now.

WordPress makes it easy to create and sell online courses, even for beginners. However, feel free to ask for help or consult online tutorials if you have trouble setting up the site. Good luck!

Article by Pankaj Shah: DCP Web Designers London

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