Are you interested in using LearnDash Learning Management System on your WordPress WooComemrce website? If so, this might be an interesting case study to read! In this article, we discuss pre-built theme websites, learning management systems, APIs and how they interact with WooCommerce.
Pacific Rim College Online (PRCO) reached out for help in completing a WordPress education website. Their original developer could not complete the project and suggested the client look for a senior team to complete the build. The website had been created with the WordPress Avada theme and suffered from several performance issues. This impacted users’ abilities to complete purchases and required immediate remedy. The website also required the implementation of a Learning Management System (LMS) to fulfill its requirements as an online education web app.
Designing and Developing Websites for Online Education Businesses
The agency that PRCO hired to create their website hit the limit of its technical ability and was unable to deliver a completed project. Unfortunately, this is not the first time we have heard about this happening. We serve as WordPress consultants for businesses across Canada that find themselves in this predicament.
The first question we are asked when it comes to WordPress education websites is “what is the best theme for an educational website?” The answer to this question is complicated. The answer depends on your website’s specific requirements, your user’s expectations and your digital strategy (systems, marketing, upsells, outreach, etc). When planning a learning management system implementation, we often recommend a custom website. A custom website ensures you are providing your users with adequate performance. One thing is certain, we would never suggest Avada for this project. It’s too bulk and bloated and gives the client very little room to grow. So why did we take this on and how did we make it work?
Theme-Based WordPress Education Website
The “why“ is fairly easy. The client had already invested a significant amount into this website project and did not want to start from scratch. So we were stuck, pass on the project or take on a challenge that we probably shouldn’t. Behind this business is a hard-working entrepreneur that deserves a better agency. We took it on because we like the client.
The “how” was difficult. Avada is a heavy theme. Made worse was the fact that the former developer had bloated the code by not following WordPress and theme programming standards. This is referred to as technical debt. What you save on programming you incur in broken functionality, slow execution and reduction in conversions. Our first step was identifying and resolving issues in the past developer’s code and resolving conflicts created by incompatible plugins.
LearnDash Learning Management System (LearnDash LMS)
LearnDash LMS is the most powerful learning management system for WordPress. LearnDash allows you to create courses and tests. The system also permits gamification to keep users engaged. The system works with the WordPress scheduling system. You will be able to drip content, set a schedule, and provide access to new content periodically.
Creating Certificate Programs with Courses in LearnDash
LearnDash allows administrators to combine courses to create certificate programs. Assignments, quizzes and prerequisite learning allows users to progress their learning, capturing badges and certificates along the way!
WooCommerce Lulu Integration
Lulu is dropshipping for print jobs. When users are checking out their course they can also purchase a physical copy of their books. Through custom programming, we created an opt-in toggle that adds an additional WooCommerce product to the user’s cart. The website communicates with Lulu over API and sends a request to the publisher to print and send a book to the student.
WooCommerce, LearnDash LMS and Lulu
We see a lot of these types of projects half-done. What we mean is it requires a human to go in and connect a lot of the dots. For example, a systems admin might have to go through each order, enroll the user in the certificate program, assign the correct permissions for the student user and send the job to the printer for fulfillment. These are obvious points of failure and should be automated. When a user enrolls in a course and initial payment is completed, a user is created and the print job is sent to Lulu via API. Simple. The way it should be!
WordPress Experts for Vancouver Island Businesses
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