Posted in   Online Courses   on  December 28, 2020 by  Himanshu

If you want to sell online courses directly through your WordPress website, you are in the right place.

While Teachable is a great place to host your courses, there is no Teachable WordPress Plugin in the market at the time of writing. This is why I am going to show you two systems to solve this problem.

First, you will learn How to create a Teachable-like Learning Management System completely on WordPress. This is best if you are looking for a WordPress LMS alternative to the SaaS course management. 

Second, How can you host your courses on Teachable (or even Thinkific or Kajabi) and sell them through your WordPress website. This method works best if you want to use Teachable but need control over the sales funnel (so you can sell more products and maximize your revenue).

But before anything else, let's talk about what Teachable offers as a learning management system.

What Teachable Offers

  • Course Hosting
  • A checkout system
  • User management
  • Affiliate management
  • Website development suite.

Honestly, it can be done with WordPress. it's just you need one or more plugins to do this stuff with the latter. 

For example, courses can be hosted with Thrive Apprentice or WP Courseware, the checkout system can be woocommerce, affiliates can be managed with AffiliateWP, and so on. So yes! Using WordPress over Teachable has its own challenge. But there are also advantages.

The Problem with Teachable

It offers a powerful course hosting suite. In all plans, it comes with unlimited hosting, sales page builder, and checkout system. But unfortunately, it doesn't offer much control over profit maximization. That means you can't upsell or down-sell courses or another type of Digital product with a Teachable account.

It also lacks customization features on checkout and sales pages. There is not enough room to do AB testing and generating leads on autopilot.

For example, you can't offer custom lead magnets to attract more potential clients or see which headlines perform better for your niche.

Another problem is the high transaction fees. It charges 5% on each course purchase on top of the PayPal/Stripe fee in its basic plan. This is more than almost all other competitors like Podia and Thinkific that offer 0 transaction cost on course purchase.

This is where third-party WordPress plugins offer great support.

Discovering the big problem with Teachable website builder leads us to an important question...

Can we create a WordPress based online school? Can we create a better sales system with teachable to earn more on each course purchase?

The answer is Yes!!

Method 1: WordPress Plugin for Creating an Online School Like Teachable

Advantage of WordPress over anything else

You are already familiar with WordPress. It is free, and you can create anything you like with 100% control over your data.

In fact, this is the reason I use WordPress sales funnels for my own business. You don't need to rent your content anywhere by using a WordPress LMS.

Unfortunately, most WordPress LMS plugins lack "sales systems." That means it is easy to host courses but hard to sell them. I have covered this in my recent comparison of WordPress vs Clickfunnels.

Below are a few high-grade online learning management system plugins for WordPress

  • Learn Dash
  • Thrive Apprentice (Thrive Apprentice is a part of Thrive Suite)
  • LearnPress LMS
  • Wishlist Member - Membership Plugin
  • MemberPress - Membership Plugin

These plugins can be used with third-party checkout systems and sales funnel software like SamCart or Clickfunnels. You can also use the Woo-commerce plugin if you want a native WordPress experience.

I personally like (and use) Sendowl as my current checkout system. It is easy, beginner-friendly, and comes with much-needed, world-class support.

Best Course Checkout system for WordPress

WordPress's standard checkout system is woo-commerce. You can use woocommerce with Digital products, physical products, and even affiliate products without any hassle. However, it again has a similar challenge. It doesn't offer deep integration with course management programs.

For example, when a student cancels the membership subscription or asks for a refund, there is no inbuilt option to reverse the membership advantages.

This is why I love Thrive Apprentice + SendOwl combination.

Thrive Apprentice comes with a one-time lifetime membership or an annual membership that costs fractions of what Teachable costs...

And Sendowl is a no-coding checkout system for newbies. You can set up a product in under two minutes and start selling with Sendowl, and it costs as little as $9/mo.

Creating an Online School is Easy with WordPress

Here is what you need.

  • A checkout system with Upsell and downsell ability. (SendOwl or Clickfunnels is best)
  • An email marketing system. (ConvertKit is FREE for creators)
  • A course hosting system. (Thrive Apprentice is best)
  • A Sales Page (Thrive Architect is the perfect solution)

Here is how the sales process looks like

  1. The buyer submits your lead form and you generate a lead.
  2. Buyer lands on a sales page.
  3. The buyer chooses to buy the product or rejects the offer.
  4. You present with a new product he or she might be interested to purchase depending on the action on the last step.
  5. The buyer sees a thank you page with confirmation of all purchased products.

There is one small challenge here in any way.

Thrive Apprentice doesn't offer drip feed like Teachable. If this is a must-have feature for you, you can look at LearnDash as an alternative.

Method 2: Sell Course with your WordPress Website

If you want to use Teachable for hosting online courses and a WordPress website for selling them, you can easily do it without any hassle. In fact, this can be done very easily with the help of a WordPress checkout system like UpsellPlugin and Zapier.

Here are the simple 5 steps to make it happen:

  1. Get OptimizePress licenser. It's a top-notch sales funnel software for WordPress.
  2. Create a sales page on your WordPress website (I use Thrive Architect)
  3. Get a FREE Zapier account
  4. Connect Upsellplugin with Teachable through Zapier for running everything on God Mode
  5. Start Selling.

Upsell plugin doesn't disrupt your website like woocommerce. You can create entire sales funnel on your WordPress website with this amazing plugin, and it comes with a yearly plan for less than $100.

Zapier is a free tool to connect any app with another. In this case, people will purchase products on our website, and as soon as they do, they will be subscribed to our Teachable course.

I know you can do it with woo-commerce and any other checkout system, but here is the challenge. Woocommerce can not optimize your profit and sell more products in the backend. You can learn more about this in the WordPress Sales Funnel tutorial.

Note: You will need a professional suite to use Zapier Automation on Teachable. Also, it needs moderate level of technical knowledge.

Teachable WordPress Plugin?

Now you know its possible to create a WordPress based school. Also, you can sell your courses directly through your WordPress website, you can pick any one of the above methods to start selling.

While there are thousands of available tools, the above are handpicked after careful testing.

The content management system can be easily extended with add ons and you can get free lifetime updates with it. Payment Gateways like PayPal and Stripe are easily integrated with your site.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Udemy a good place to sell online courses?

Udemy used to be a good place. Think of it like Amazon for online courses. It is a good place but then there are thousands of other competitors. You don't own the pricing and hardly have control over the profits. As a creator, it is better to self-host your programs with WordPress or Teachable.

Is WordPress good for corporate training?

WordPress is a DIY solution. It is still perfect for corporate training, personal coaching, and even community training. With powerful features, addons, e-commerce plugins, and affiliate management systems, it is possible to extend WP to almost any limit.

Do I need any technical knowledge?

No! You don't need to learn to code or become tech-savvy to create an online course. However, you get to learn how to create a drag and drop design and copywriting to become successful in an online business any day.

Is video hosting included with Teachable?

The answer is Yes! This is another good reason to use SaaS-based software. (and a reason to not use it). It comes with comfort but if you want to change from one place to another, you need to start everything from scratch.

Instead, if you are using WordPress, you can use YouTube or Vimeo for hosting videos and you will still have all the control over data.

Can creators write articles and sell courses on the website?

Yes! This is a very powerful way to start selling courses as a creator. Write blogs that your target audience might be interested to read. Then if they are interested in learning more about the topic, they can go ahead and buy your course.

Who is the best WordPress hosting provider?

You can either go for shared hosting or managed hosting for creating your LMS. While shared hosting saves money, managed hosting saves time and energy. Depending on your goal, you can go for your hosting provider.

I use and recommend WPX Hosting in my business. It is faster, reliable, affordable, and better than every other provider in my opinion. 

Final Verdict

Elearning is a $325 billion industry and we are still at the beginning of possibilities. Whether you sell individual courses or you want to create an entire learning academy, WordPress is a perfect choice.

Online course creators will find Thrive Apprentice as a heavenly tool for selling courses. While online instructors working together might find Teachable and Upsell Plugin as mentioned in the second method as a go-to method. 

Whatever your choice is, online education is transforming lives. Don't wait for another second to join the wave before it's too late.

About Himanshu

Himanshu is a recovering shiny object seeker and computer science engineer turned into an internet entrepreneur.

He bootstrapped from 0-$200k and has helped tens of companies grow from scratch with the help of building online communities.

He helps coaches and entrepreneurs grow their business through content and communities.

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