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5 Easy to Follow Steps for a Successful LearnDash Course Launch – Part 3

In the previous steps, we've covered how to connect with your ideal customer and how to organize your courses using a sales model that meets your learners needs. Now I'm going to get technical. I'm going to go over how to build your a Wordpress, LearnDash and WooCommerce online course site so it delivers an elegant, professional experience.

Step 3 - How to Build a Masterpiece Wordpress, LearnDash, WooCommerce Online Course Site

There are many themes and page builders to choose for your Wordpress site. We recommend using the free Astra theme and free Elementor Page Builder. These are good options for getting started and they integrate well with both LearnDash and WooCommerce. This article assumes those are the ones you have selected.

Once you install LearnDash, visit the LearnDash->Add-ons page and select the Elementor for LearnDash add-on. Make sure it's turned on so you can use LearnDash Elementor widgets for displaying course information.

When using LearnDash on your Wordpress site, avoid using LearnDash's e-commerce features. It works, but it's a bit under powered. LearnDash is a best-in-breed learning management system (LMS). It's e-commerce features are NOT. LearnDash added e-commerce to satisfy the needs of simple course builders. It's isn't terrible, but most online course builders will quickly run into it's limitations.

WooCommerce is the Wordpress e-commerce plugin we recommend. It's relatively easy to configure. It integrates well with LearnDash and enables you to deliver a very professional buying experience with many available option if you want to get creative.

WooCommerce installs on your Wordpress site as a plugin. You will want to again revisit the LearnDash->Add-ons page to select the WooCommerce for LearnDash add-on. When that option is turned on, you will see an option in each WooCommerce product that enables you to enroll members in a LearnDash course when they make a purchase.

In this article, I am assuming you are using a payment processor like WooCommerce Payments or Stripe to accept payments. There are other available payment gateways like PayPal, but let's keep it simple. If you want to offer subscriptions with recurring payment options, you'll need WooCommerce Subscriptions, but that's a topic for another time.

WooCommerce's installation creates the following pages for you:

  1. Shop located at /shop/. This is the page you can label shop or products in your menu. It's where you display the products you sell.
  2. Shopping cart page located /cart/. Each WooCommerce product you want to sell gets displayed on the shop page. Each will have an Add to Cart button. When users click on the button, they are taken to the corresponding product page. Your visitor can read all about the product there before they decide to buy. The product page has an add to cart page that takes them to this shopping cart page where they can review the items before checking out.
  3. Checkout page located at /checkout/ - Users arrive at the checkout page using a button on the the shopping cart page. Here they enter their name, address, email, and payment information before placing their order. The same page, after a purchase is made, displays a thank you message.
  4. My Accounts page located at /my-account/ - This is a magical page with a lot of features. We'll discuss this in more detail later.

To quickly summarize the customer journey, here are the steps:

  1. User visits the shop to select a product or clicks on a link you provide them to access a product they want to buy on your website.
  2. User clicks to add to cart button on the product page described above. WooCommerce provides an option to skip this step if you prefer. You could, as a second option, add the product to the shopping cart and redirect them directly to the shopping cart. This eliminates a step.
  3. User clicks the checkout button on the shopping cart.
  4. User fills out the checkout form and places their order.
  5. User arrives at a thank you page.

This is a simple, straightforward process. There are some configuration steps to streamline the buying journey and the journey for getting access to the purchased content. In the steps that follow, I cover the following in detail:

  1. Enrolling the member in the LearnDash courses they purchased and giving them access to their content.
  2. Configuring menus and a dashboard so members get easy access their course materials.

We continue with Step 4 where we enroll members and give them access to their content.