Is WordPress The Best Platform To Launch a Course?
Read the full episode transcript below:
00:28 David Blackmon: Welcome to another episode of WP The Podcast, my name is David Blackmon.
00:35 Tim Strifler: And i’m Tim Strifler
00:38 David Blackmon: Today in episode 825 we’re going to answer the question is WordPress the best platform to launch a course. Now Tim and i have launched several courses over the last few years, over the last five years in fact. And we’ve got quite a few students in our courses, so obviously we’re WordPress guys, we don’t want to give this away, um the answer to the you know the question is at the best place because there are lots of options out there to build courses. You know there’s obviously WordPress which you can use lms’s like Lifterlms Learndash but there’s also platforms out there like Teachable and Kajabi you know, who which are proprietary platforms that will allow you to in essence do the same thing. Now there are some differences and we kind of want to give an option, we want to talk about you know whether or not WordPress is the best platform for you to launch a course. So Tim, do you want to start? Do you want me to start? What do you want?
01:47 Tim Strifler: Yeah i’m happy to start, I will say that’s a tricky answer, because like David mentioned i think it depends on kind of what your long-term goals are. Um because something like Teachable is a quicker platform to launch an online course, but depending on what you’re trying to do it may not be the best platform to launch an online course. And the reason for that is when you launch a plat when you launch an online course on something like WordPress you own the entire experience, you own the entire platform. Right, which means you have full control, and you can do whatever you want. And you can take those students those that course and and take it somewhere else and do whatever. When you launch a online course on something like Teachable it’s pretty much locked, and Teachable you don’t have the ability to remarket to your uh students, right at least not very easily. You don’t have like in them on a nice email list that you can just send email blast to like you would if you built it on WordPress and that’s a big deal because uh like David mentioned with our online courses some uh we have The Divi Business Expert Course on WP Gears, and we have the Divi Beginner Course, well we want the ability to remarket those students. Right, The Divi Beginner Course we want to take people on a journey and have them excel into the business course and part of the way we do that is through email. Right, we own that customer on Teachable you don’t own the customer so that’s a really big deal. And then i’m gonna let David talk here um in a second, but there’s some other things too. And i’ll get to that because it’s more kind of a technical thing, but um yeah i would say if if you’re just trying to do something, you know super quick and you don’t really care about long-term benefits then yeah maybe just quickly launch a course on Teachable. But if you’re planning for the long-term, uh WordPress is is without a doubt the way to do it and you can use Lifterlms which is free to get started. So yeah..
04:04 David Blackmon: Yeah that that was going to be my answer as well, it just it just it’s a tricky question to answer. My ultimate answer is going to be always yes you want to be on a platform you own, and WordPress isn’t the only self-hosted platform that you can own. Obviously if you are a programmer or a developer or have access to a programmer or developer and they are proficient in web languages they can build you know a custom website and not necessarily use WordPress or any cms like that. But i do like i do think that you should always have a plan to get to a place where you own your own content, because the the reality is these these proprietary platforms like Teachable like Kajabi, they are limiting in in regards to what you can do, but they are nice to get started if you don’t have a big budget and you don’t have developers. You know, because building an lms is not an easy thing and it’s going to cost you know, if you’ve got to pay a developer to build it, it could cost several thousand dollars um depending on what your needs are and stuff. And if you don’t have that budget you know, it is nice to go to something like a Teachable or a Kajabi where it’s like a low monthly fee, and and and then you can scale into build up you know.. i mean if you’re doing an mvp to find out if there’s any interest in your course it might be wise to do like a Teachable “hey let me see if there’s any interest out there in this course before i go and invest a ton of money and stuff”. So it very much does depend on where you’re at in your journey but i think your ultimate long-term goal, the answer for me to this question is yes it is the best place to build an lms of course launch a course is on WordPress, because you ultimately own it but you may have to step it out or phase it out just making sure that you get to that place if that makes sense.
06:15 Tim Strifler: Yeah there’s more work on the front end for sure. And uh yeah David mentioned Kajabi. So like i would say Teachable or like lynda.com and some of those other ones those are like the most limiting in terms of like control and owning the customer experience. Kajabi i think is kind of in between, so like WordPress is like absolute full control own the experience own the content everything. Kajabi is kind of in the middle of WordPress and uh like Teachable, because Kajabi you don’t own the platform, but you do you are you can remarket to customers I believe. I’ve never used it, but i’ve seen some pretty big marketers use it. So however, the last thing i do want to say about this is when it comes to the tech side of things with WordPress, you’re self-hosting, you need to choose where you host it. You can self-host on your own server, you can use a managed WordPress hosting company on Teachable and on Kajabi. They’re hosting it for you which has its pros and cons. However literally just two days ago there was an aws outage that took down much of Teachable. Right, so students course creators everything like it was you know affected uh everyone and you know it was only for for you know maybe four to eight hours or something like that, um and it wasn’t just affecting Teachable affected other other aws users as well in a certain region or something. But that means that like you can have someone buy your course during that time you can have someone use your course during that time. Now obviously any hosting can have issues you can self-host on a WordPress host and then you know that their platform goes down, but the bottom line is you have more control and an ability to basically mitigate the issue yourself. Right so like if your WordPress host goes down and you have a proper backup solution in place, you can actually quickly move that over to another host, right like you have control over that process where if you’re on a Teachable and something like that happens you have like literally zero control over how to fix it.
08:35 David Blackmon: Absolutely, all right there you go best platform to launch a course is worst WordPress best platform. I hope that helps i think it should. Tomorrow we’re going to talk about the fastest way to launch a website, and yes folks we’re talking about WordPress we’re not talking about on any other platform. So until tomorrow we’ll see you then.
08:59 Tim Strifler: Take care, bye.
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