How to create the best eLearning and marketing platform with Wordpress ?

Greetings,

I'm working on a very exciting project : we want to build a platform to sell and deliver eLearning courses.

That plateform must be SELF-HOSTED on my customer's server, so all the SaaS options are out the windows.

We have two main needs :
1. Being able to easily MARKET & SELL the courses
2. Being able to DELIVER the courses in a very user friendly way.

For the marketing aspect, I was thinking about using the OptimizePress Theme, which is the most efficient self-hosted solution I know. It'll allow us to create all the sales pages, landing pages, etc. So the marketing aspect is covered.

As for the pedagogical aspects (course delivery to customer), it's less clear. I was thinking about using WooThemes's "SENSEI" plugin, but WPMUDev own plugin "COURSES" seems interesting too (what are the pro and cons of each one iyo ?).

Anyone in the community that built or is trying to build a marketing + elearning platform like myself ?

Any suggestions or advice ? Any ideas of plugins to use ? Any problems you are aware of (I know for example that OptimizePress makes it tricky to integrate other plugin's based on custom post).

Any ideas, feedback, advices, etc. would be greatly appreciated.

Best regards,
DJ

  • aristath

    Hello there @DJExp, I hope you're well today!

    For the marketing aspect, I was thinking about using the OptimizePress Theme, which is the most efficient self-hosted solution I know. It'll allow us to create all the sales pages, landing pages, etc. So the marketing aspect is covered.

    I would recommend against using OptimizePress.
    I don't think I've ever seen a member in these forums using OptimizePress and not having issues... primarily because like you mentioned it does not support many features like for example Custom Post Types which is something essential to any e-learning system (courses are a custom post type on all plugins).
    In fact I don't see any reason why somebody would ever use OptimizePress... Maybe it's just me, but I don't get it. Too much noise and hype for nothing. SEO-wise there are many themes that are as good - if not better.
    If what you're looking for is a page builder there are quite a few out there, and you can even take a look at the beta version of our upcoming Upfront theme: https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/upfront-theme-platform-beta-v3

    As for the pedagogical aspects (course delivery to customer), it's less clear. I was thinking about using WooThemes's "SENSEI" plugin, but WPMUDev own plugin "COURSES" seems interesting too (what are the pro and cons of each one iyo ?).

    I've heard Sensei is really nice though I haven't had the pleasure of playing with it myself so I can't really compare them... I've used CoursePress though and I can't think of anything that you'd want more than that!!
    You can also combine it with our Protected-Content plugin to handle subscriptions and monetize your e-Learning platform. :slight_smile:

    I hope that helps!

    Cheers,
    Ari.

  • DJExp

    Hi Ari,

    I understand the problems with OptimizePress, but sadly I found no other alternatives that had the same ease of use and quality as far as marketing is concerned. I mean, there is a lot of drag and drop page builder but OptimizePress is imho the only was that was made "by marketers for marketers"...

    Cause the technical aspect is one thing, but it's also important to be able to easily create pages that will actually convert, and I know the basic design of OptimizePress will.

    Now I'll have a look at your solution in beta. Does it claim to be equivalent or better than OptimizePress, or is that not really a comparable alternative ?

    I realize the value in having a "WPMUDev only" solution, but for now I'm not yet sure on how I can efficiently get rid of OptimizePress without sacrificing marketing quality.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, and thank you for the complete answer you gave me !

    DJ.

  • Michelle Shull

    Hi DJ!

    To the best of my knowledge, we've got no official claims comparing Upfront to OptimizePress. You're more than welcome to download the most recent beta and have a play with it.

    As for your Optimize Press + CoursePress Pro question, I've not tried the two together myself, so I can't promise there are no issues at all. I've not seen any responses in the forums that indicate there's an issue, however.

    Thanks for your question, and have a great Saturday!

  • DJExp

    Hello friends,

    Some news :

    1. I checked Upfront, and even though it's a really interesting theme, it's not what I'm looking for as far as the marketing part of the project is concerned. I'll have to stick with OptimizePress.

    2. The only efficient way I found to solve the problem between OptimizePress and the various LMS is to not mix them. For example, my system would be based on 3 wordpress instances :

    A. HOME PAGE (www.mysite.com) using a cool business website page for example

    B. MARKETING PAGES (www.mysite.com/mkt) using OptimizePress, and taking care of the squeeze pages, landing pages, sales pages, launch, etc.

    C. MEMBER AREA (www.mysite.com/members) using a cool LSM like Sensei or CoursePress Pro.

    That way, I would have the best of both world without any fear of bugs and incompatibility, right ?

    My only problem now is : how to link area B and C ? More concretely :

    How will a student that pay on the sales page (area B, OptimizePress) will be added to a course in area C ?

    The problem I have in area C is that most LMS have their own system of users login and content protection, which conflict with the system I'd like to use.

    Is there a way, for example with CoursePress Pro, to not require a payment and just allow the users to create an access ?

    I realize it's still a bit confused, I'm in brainstorming mode, so I hope you understand. Any feedback would be much appreciated !

    Best regards,

    DJ

  • Michelle Shull

    Hi, DJ!

    You can absolutely create free courses with CoursePress, and mark individual courses as open to anyone, so users don't have to have a previously established account on your site. When they register for the course, they'll be given a student account, which is like an expanded standard (contributor) account. CoursePress itself doesn't handle any transactions, that's all done through MarketPress, and we didn't build in content protection, since we've already got Protected Content and Membership that can handle that end. CoursePress may be what you're looking for here.

    Would that work with your plan?

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