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How to Create an Online Course? – Easy Step-by-Step Guide

Last Updated: 15 mins By: Supriya Shrestha

So, you have made up your mind to share your knowledge through courses but don’t really know how to create one?

If so, you are in the right place. In this article, we will go through different methods of course creation. We will also create a dummy course using one of them.

Want to know how to create an online course that stands out? Figuring out which is the right online course platform to generate passive income for yourself?

So, let’s get into this article without further ado.


Different Ways to Create Online Courses! 

There are plenty of different ways to create an online course. We have selected and elaborated on the top five to make it easier.

1. Video Based Platforms 

Probably, the most popular way to launch a course is by using existing video streaming platforms. These platforms are not reserved for courses. They allow you to host your videos on their platform, which you can use to launch your course.

Online course creation is super easy. You can simply record while creating a course and post it publicly for your target audience.  

Thus, they are easy to set up and even offer monetization options for verified users. That said, there is no scope for dynamic courses with quizzes and gamification. In addition, you will have to play by the platform’s rules, which gives you limited flexibility.

Video Based Platform

Some of the most popular video-based platforms are:  

  • YouTube 
  • Vimeo 
  • Wistia 

2. Online Course Marketplaces

Online Course Marketplaces are dedicated platforms where you can sign up and start selling courses. These platforms have infrastructure better suited for course creation compared to video-based platforms. In addition to hosting videos, they also enable quizzes and gamification.

It provides online course creators with a readymade audience and marketing support. That said, here, too, you are limited by the terms and conditions of the platform.

You need to look into revenue-sharing models, pricing flexibility, and other terms in detail. We suggest you evaluate performance and features to ensure that your online course marketplace fits your goals and teaching style.  

There are a lot of online course marketplaces where you can sell your course. Some of the most well-known online course marketplaces are:  

  • Udemy 
  • Coursera 
  • Skillshare

3. Webinar Platforms

While video calling and webinar platforms have existed for some time now, it was only during the pandemic that they started being used by educational institutions.

Today, these platforms are popular among creators and online coaches for courses that require live, two-way interaction.

The best thing about the webinar platform is its ability to host live sessions with thousands of participants. It has integrated audio connection options for all the attendees.  

They provide you with multiple live-streaming video feeds, interactive polls, private or public chatting, and more.

This approach lets you have real-time conversations, including Q&A sessions and discussions. You can create and deliver live online courses or provide interactive training sessions.  

Webinar Platforms - Online Course Creation

Some of the well-known webinar platforms are:  

  • Zoom 
  • GoToWebinar 
  • WebinarJam

4. Saas Learning Management System (LMS)

Learning Management Systems (LMS) are Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms that let you host your own eLearning portable. Compared to the mediums discussed above, LMS systems allow you to create dynamic courses.

These platforms offer users a robust suite of monetization tools, seamless communication, better learning outcomes, and more.

Saas LMS systems are usually better than video-based platforms and webinar software. They are more flexible than the course marketplace as well.

However, they are beaten by self-hosted LMS platforms when it comes to flexibility and cost-effectiveness.

Some of the top LMS platforms that let you start an online course business are:  

  • Moodle 
  • Teachable 

5. Self-Hosted Websites

Moreover, you can create and sell courses by building your own website. You can code a site from the ground up or go through an easy route by using CMS platforms like WordPress and Drupal.

It enables you to host your website and sell your course using plugins or custom development.  

While building courses using self-hosted websites, you can have complete control over: 

  • Structure of the course website 
  • Overall design and layouts  
  • Functionalities to be provided  

You can fully control your data, privacy, and computing infrastructure. At the same time, you can save potential costs and improve your skills.  

Hence, if you were to take our suggestion, we suggest you create course platforms using self-hosted websites. The reason? You can have full ownership and control over data, design and control, and much more.


Why Use WordPress to Create Online Courses?

With the advent of LMS plugins, WordPress has become a popular platform for course creators. You can create individual course platforms and even a marketplace.

WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS). It enables you to easily create, customize, and manage your website. There are plenty of themes for design and layouts and plugins for functionalities.

Moreover, the online course creation process is easier using an LMS plugin. Want to know how?  

How to create an online course

Let’s get started!  

  1. An LMS plugin enables you to cater to many students as per the requirements. 
  1. It provides a centralized platform. So, you can create, manage, organize, and sell your course with ease.   
  1. Delivering course material is really convenient. You can upload multimedia content such as videos, presentations, documents, and quizzes.  
  1. After selling your online courses, you can easily manage student enrollment, track progress, communicate with students, and provide feedback.  
  1. Owners can customize or create course layouts, structures, and other elements to align with their online course creation process.  

Using an LMS plugin will enable you to enhance student’s learning process in a better way. Similarly, you can provide essential administrative tools to manage and grow your online course.  


Which WordPress LMS Plugin Should You Use?

There are hundreds of LMS plugins available on the web. So, why do we suggest using Masteriyo WordPress LMS plugins to create an online course?  

Let’s briefly introduce ourselves and get to know why it could be a suitable choice!

Masteriyo is a revolutionary, powerful WordPress LMS plugin that lets you teach anything, anytime, from anywhere. It is available in free and premium versions.  

It is extremely easy to use, both on the backend and frontend. Instructors can create online courses in just a couple of minutes. Similarly, learners are provided with a fast and easy learning experience.  

This plugin has all the features required to provide progressive student-teacher interactions. In simple words, it is an all-in-one solution for online course creation!  

Using this plugin, you can turn your passion and skills into a thriving business through online course platform.

Masteriyo - Powerful WordPress LMS Plugin

Top Features of Masteriyo WordPress Plugins 

There are numerous advantages to using the Masteriyo plugin. However, we have listed down some of the top features.  

  • Simple and fast: This plugin will get you up and running in just a minute. Do more in less using its drag and drop course builder. Its distraction-free page will show just what is needed!  
  • Intuitive and advanced: Do you want to build a cutting-edge website? If yes, use Masteriyo’s powerful tools for structured content, interactive quizzes, and certificates.  
  • Easy selling options: The plugin has an inbuilt order system to help you with course sales. It also offers WooCommerce integration and supports major payment gateways.  
  • Seamless integration: Masteriyo’s extended features and add-on collection allow you to extend the plugin’s core feature and create successful online courses.  
  • Expert support anytime: Contact them through live chat for instant support or submit a support ticket for assistance. You can also join the official Facebook community for instant updates, expert insights, and friendly support.  

How to Create an Online Course Using an LMS Plugin? – 8 Easy Step-by-Step Process

As we’ve already chosen the right LMS plugin, let’s walk through the steps of creating an online course.  

These steps might look lengthy, but they are simple and straightforward!  

Step 1: Website Building Prerequisites 

To start an online course business, you need the following:  

1. Web hosting and domain name  

For your online course creation, you can get a domain and web hosting from the same provider. We recommend using SiteGround Web Hosting.  

Domain registrars like Namecheap let you check the availability of the domain after you finalize it.  

Similarly, you can also look for other popular web-hosting sites, such as Cloudways, Hostinger, and Kinsta.

When choosing web hosting for your online course creation, make sure that it offers multiple plan options. This way, you can switch to different plans as needed.  


2. WordPress 

Whenever someone asks for the best CMS for online course creation, we always suggest WordPress.  

The reason? It has powerful tools to create any kind of feature-packed website. No surprise, it powers the majority of websites today.

Not only that, but they also value their users. For that reason, updates are made per the user’s requirements and market needs.  

Some of the above-mentioned hosting services providers have dedicated WordPress hosting. However, if it doesn’t work, you can always manually install WordPress and get started!  


Step 2: Select the Suitable WordPress Theme and Plugin 

We suggest using educational themes and LMS plugins for an online course creation website. They have prebuilt templates for online learning platforms, saving you time in designing and customization.

You can visit the WordPress repository to start with a free WordPress theme. Still, the available options may seem overwhelming.

As such, we suggest going with eLearning and similar themes that come with an LMS pre-installed.


Step 3: Install the WordPress Themes and Customize 

In this article, we’ll go into the detailed steps for installing and customizing the Online Education WordPress theme.  

i. Installing and Activating an Online Education Theme 

First, head to Appearance>>Themes. Then, click on the Add New button at the top of the page.  

Searching elearning theme on add new theme

You need to type eLearning in the search box, and it will be displayed on the screen.

Finally, click on the Install and Activate button, and then you’re done with the installation of this theme onto your website.  


ii. Import the Demo Content

eLearning has pre-made website templates for both individual creators and marketplaces. To access them, you need to install ThemeGrill Demo Importer.

Go to Appearance >> Themes and click on Get started with eLearning.

This will install the available starter templates. Pick one that aligns with your requirements.

eLearning Theme Starter Sites

You can add your own customization to the eLearning demo by navigating to Appearance >> Customize.


Step 4: Install and Activate Masteriyo LMS Plugin  

As we already know about the Masteriyo LMS Plugin, let’s go through the installation process.

First, navigate to Plugins>>Add New option from your dashboard. Search for the Masteriyo WordPress plugin in the search box. Then click on the Install Now button.

Installing Masteriyo Plugin on a WordPress WooCommerce Website

After installing the plugin, click on the Activate button.  


Step 5: Configure Masteriyo WordPress Plugin Settings 

Once your installation and activation are completed, you’ll be directed to the short setup wizard. You’ll be able to see the Welcome page, as shown in the screenshot below.  

Masteriyo Welcome Message - LMS Installation Process

You can simply click on Get Started for the initial configuration. If you want to change the settings later, click on Skip to Dashboard.  

Under the General tab, you can choose the primary color for the platform. You can also enable other functionalities like reviews, questions and answers, and user registration.

Masteriyo Setup Wizard

In the second step, you’ll land on the Course setting page.  

Here, you can customize the course layout by selecting the number of courses per row and per page. You can even add a search bar.

Then, you can hit the Next button.  

If you want to change your previous changes, you can simply click the Back button.  

Course Settings on Masteriyo LMS Setup Wizard Copy

Next, Masteriyo will ask you what kind of eLearning website you can create. Select the appropriate option.

Choose Business Type on Masteriyo LMS Setup Wizard

In the Checkout tab, choose the Currency and presentation according to your requirements. Then, click the Next button.  

Managing Checkout Settings On Masteriyo LMS Setup Wizard

You can now import demo courses that can help you get started with your course creation journey.

Import Demo Courses on Masteriyo LMS

Hurray! You’ve completed setting up your LMS platform. You can now start creating your courses.


Step 6: Create New Courses, Lessons, and Quizzes 

After completing your setup, you can either go back to the dashboard or start creating an online course.  

To begin, click on Create a new course button. It’ll take you to the course builder page, where you can add the course content.  

Finishing up Masteriyo LMS Setup

1. Online Course Creation  

First, add a relevant Course Name. Then write an accurate Course Description to let the learners know the content of your online course.  

Add the Course Highlights and Categories accordingly. If you want to add a featured image, click on the Add Featured Image option.  

When you’ve added all content, click the Next button at the top right of the page.  

Assigning Course Title Description Highlight Featured Image on Masteriyo LMS

Now, you can Add New Sections to your content.  

Enter a suitable Section Name and click on the Add button.

Naming a Course Section on Masteriyo

You can easily Add New Lessons and Quizzes to any section by clicking on the Add New Content option.  

Similarly, add as many sections as you want by clicking on the Add New Section option.

Adding New Section to an Online Course

2. Add New Lesson  

First, you need to add the Lesson Name and Description. Then, you can add relevant Featured Images.  

Also, you can add video lessons by embedding videos from YouTube, Vimeo or uploading a Self-Hosted Video. The self-hosted video can be of 60 MB size at maximum.  


3. Add a New Quiz  

As we’ve seen before, to add a quiz, click on Add New Content, then Add New Quiz.  

To create a complete quiz, you’re provided with three setting options: Info, Questions, and Settings.  

In the Info tab, add your Quiz Name. Then click on the Add New Quiz button.

Similarly, click on Add New Questions in the Questions tab to add as many questions as you want.

Adding new question to online quiz

Write your Question Name. Then, you can select your Question Type from three different options: True False, Single Choice, and Multiple Choice.  

You can also assign Points for your questions.  

The answers will be displayed according to the type of question you choose! If you choose the True False question, the answer option will be either true or false.  

Similarly, you can add an answer manually by clicking the Add New Answer button if you choose Single-Choice or Multiple-Choice questions.  

Tick the correct option to inform the learners of the correct answer. When you’re done making all the changes, click the Update button.

The Settings tab has two parts: General and Display. In the General section, you can set full marks, pass marks, quiz duration, and the number of attempts to answer the quiz. 

Likewise, the Display section lets you display quiz questions per page as you need.  

You can choose to display Questions Per Page according to global settings or set it individually. 

Make sure to click on the Update button to save all your settings. 

Masteriyo Display Quiz Settings

This is the end of the seventh step of creating an online course!  


Step 7: Configure the Payment Settings to Sell Your Course  

Masteriyo WordPress LMS plugin provides its users with an inbuilt payment system. This way, selling online courses and earning passive income is really easy.  

To do that, you need to configure basic payment settings.  

First, navigate to Masteriyo>>>Settings. Then click on the Payments tab.  

There you can see five different options on the left side of the page. The options include Store, Currency, Standard PayPal, Offline Payment, and Checkout Fields.  

In the Store settings, you can add Country, State, City, and Address.

Store Settings On Masteriyo

You can make changes to Currency, its position, and other options from the Currency tab just below the Store.

Masteriyo Currency Settings

We suggest you enable Standard PayPal. If you do so, you’ll be able to accept payments through PayPal.  

In the Standard PayPal tab, you need to add details such as Title, Description, PayPal Email Receiver email, and more.

PayPal Settings on Masteriyo

Masteriyo plugin lets the users use Offline Payment. To use it, you need to enable the option and add details like Title, Description, and Instructions.  

You can enable or disable the provided option from the Checkout Fields as per your online course creation requirements.

Checkout Fields Masteriyo Payment Settings

After making all the changes, click on the Save Settings button.  


Step 8: Publish Your Courses Online  

Once you add all the courses, lessons, and quizzes and make the necessary changes, it is ready to go live.  

To do so, go to Masteriyo>>Courses on the left side of the page. Then click on the course that you’ve just created.

Masteriyo Course Dashboard

If you are in doubt, we suggest you Preview your course. This way you’ll get to know what your course will look like in the front end.

Publishing course on Masteriyo

Moreover, if you feel everything is good, simply click on the Publish button.  

Following this detailed step-by-step guide will help you create an online course in the best way.


Conclusion  

Creating a self-hosted online course using an LMS plugin is the best option available out there!

It gives you full control over the platform and the courses. It is also the most economical option.

Creating courses using WordPress sounds overwhelming. However, it is easy if you follow our detailed steps. 

Have you ever created an online course? What do you think of using an LMS plugin to create or sell your courses online? 

Tell us your story below! 

How to Create an Online Course? – Easy Step-by-Step Guide

Supriya Shrestha

Supriya is a curious thinker who enjoys sharing her knowledge through written pieces. She loves spending her time in front of her laptop, working on new projects and learning new things. In her spare time, you can find her traveling around the city in search of the best food and coffee!

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