You’ve got a passion for sharing and relaying valuable information to others.
Now you’re starting to think about sharing your knowledge with the world through your website.
The only problem is you’ve never built a website before, and you’re not sure how.
Don’t worry – you’re in the right place. I’ll show you how to get your site set up in a few easy steps.
Creating An Education Website, The Setup
The setup process might seem intimidating at first but is much easier than you might think.
The first thing you’re going to need is a domain name and a hosting plan.
Your domain name is where people will go to find your website (i.e. www.myeducationwebsite.com). Though there are plenty of TLDs available, the best one is still .com.
Your host is where your website files will be stored and accessed. Unless you have your own server, purchasing hosting is both low-cost and efficient.
Both your domain name and hosting plan can be purchased from the same place, and I recommend using Just Host for this purpose.
Once you have your domain name and hosting plan, you’re ready to install WordPress. WordPress is the most popular content management system/blogging platform on the web and is a good choice for building your education website on, especially since there’s so much documentation and support available, and a huge community of plugin and theme developers.
Installing WordPress used to be somewhat complicated, but these days you can do it in just one click.
Once WordPress is installed, you will have the skeleton framework for your website. You’ll still need to customize the content to truly make it your own though.
There are a couple more things you’ll need to get your website set up and ready to go, namely plugins and a nice-looking theme (which will determine the design, look and feel of your website).
First, let’s look at the plugins you’re going to need.
What Plugins Do You Need To Deliver Your Online Courses?
To unlock the full potential of WordPress, you’re going to need to install and utilize plugins.
This goes for any website – not just education websites. There’s only so much you can do with WordPress without the help of plugins.
What makes an education site unique is that you’re probably going to want to set up courses and a member only area. Some of this could be done manually, but it’s much easier to manage your course content and site members with the help of plugins. There’s no reason to put more time and effort into managing your site than you have to – especially since you’re going to be working hard on developing great courses.
So, here are a couple of plugins you’re going to need if you want to deliver your online courses through your own website.
LearnDash is an LMS (or Learning Management System) plugin for WordPress.
An LMS is a fully functional software environment that allows for the delivery of course content, management of your students, and much more. Most if not all major universities and training organizations these days use LMS solutions to oversee their education programs.
There’s a good chance you want to monetize your online courses. That’s why you need a plugin like Memberpress to build your membership area and place your courses behind a pay wall.
You may want to use the “frontend” of your website to promote your courses, such as with blog posts and pricing pages. But the “backend” of your website should be reserved for paid member support and access to courses.
Ready to make your website look pretty?
No, you’re not about to learn how to code and create your own theme. That would take much too long and is a difficult process besides.
All you need to do is purchase a preexisting theme and install it on your website.
Don’t worry – there are thousands of great themes available, and many of them are highly customizable, giving you a lot of control over color scheme, fonts, and other important branding elements.
Here are three relevant themes for you to check out.
Education WordPress Theme | Education WP
The Education WP theme isn’t just a theme – it’s also a LMS.
It comes with plenty of demo designs you can customize and make your own, the LearnPress LMS plugin, a drag and drop course builder, five payment gateways, the ability to build a community, and more.
If you’re looking for a good all-in-one plugin, this one is worth a look.
Education WordPress | Edugate Education
The Edugate theme has a modern and professional look to it, and is perfect for universities and colleges, and even online course creators.
It comes with a responsive design, course management system, staff management, the ability to track and manage your students, the BuddyPress plugin for building your online community, and more.
Eikra – Education WordPress Theme
Eikra, much like Education WP, is a theme and a Learning Management System all in one.
It comes with 12 homepage layouts, the LearnPress plugin, instructor page layouts, event and blog pages, is WooCommerce ready, responsive and mobile friendly, and more.
Some Of The Best Education Websites, Watch And Learn
There are plenty of great education websites out there, and there’s so much you can learn from them.
Taking inspiration from these sites can help you build a more effective website. If they’re experiencing success, it only stands to reason you could also boost your results by implementing worthwhile ideas.
Here are some of the best education sites you can learn from:
- Lynda: the most popular online destination for a huge library of online courses, classes, and training on a variety of topics: software development, design, business, web development, photography, and more. You might consider signing up for a free month just to get a sense of what they’re up to.
- edX: a site where people can go to take courses from the world’s leading universities for free. Their clean and simple layout makes it easy for users to browse their website and find what they’re looking for. Their menu is well-organized and easy to navigate. These are some important considerations to keep in mind as you build your site.
- Coursera: Coursera boasts access to some of the best courses in business, computer science, data science, math and logic, personal development, social sciences, and a variety of other topics. Again, their layout is easy to navigate, and they’ve effectively highlighted some of their most popular courses to draw people in.
Don’t forget – there are plenty of other education websites out there with a great design and content. Check them out for more inspiration.
Focus on making your website usable and navigable, you can always worry about the specifics of the design later.
How To Start An Online Education Website Using WordPress For Beginners
Setting up an education website might seem like a daunting task.
But if you use the above tools, it should prove relatively easy to get a website that looks professional and helps you build your student base.
And if you market your education website well there’s a lot of potential for you to do well.
Even if you’re a complete beginner, you can get up and running in a matter of hours.
So, get your website set up and start sharing your passion with your students!