What Is an Online Education Website? An online education website, or e-learning platform, is a web application that helps students learn new skills and build their careers.
Creating one as an entrepreneur can be used to supplement your primary income stream or even turn it into your main source of income. In this article, we’ll be looking at how to build an online education website and break down the costs associated with the project.
Understand What Makes People Enroll in Online Courses
A common mistake in creating online courses is that creators don’t think about what it is that makes people want to enroll in an online course.
Before you create your own course, you need to take a step back and consider how e-learning differs from traditional learning.
E-learning isn’t about technology; it’s about education. What does your audience expect when they sign up for an online course? You should be able to explain, in one sentence, why someone would enroll in a specific class. This will help you stay focused on creating high-quality content, rather than just filling space with fluff or plugging keywords into every lesson.
Get Familiar with Your Audience
There are a ton of different online education websites available today. Depending on what niche you’re focusing on, there are plenty of established learning platforms that can help provide you with tools and resources that will make building your own website much easier.
For example, Codecademy and Coursera both offer e-learning tools that can be useful when building a site for online learning. If you’re hoping to create your own online education website focused on a specific topic or area of expertise, getting familiar with existing platforms in your niche will help prepare you for what’s needed to build an effective website.
Know What Business Model You Want to Implement
When it comes to building online education websites, there are three main business models that you can choose from Subscription-based model: In a subscription-based model, you offer a course or courses for a monthly fee.
You make money by charging people month after month. The benefit of going with a subscription-based model is that people will continue to pay each month, meaning consistent income for you without much work involved.
The downside is that it requires more ongoing work once your site is launched. That’s because over time, your content will likely get stale and need updating—and of course, new content needs to be added so that members keep paying! Paid access (per course) : Another popular option involves having users pay per course they take rather than requiring them to commit each month.
Choose an Educational Framework
Choosing a course platform depends on whether you want to build your own e-learning website or use one that has already been created. Popular options include Moodle, Canvas, and LearnDash; each offers a wide range of features but requires coding and customization.
However, if you’re creating an online education website for personal use or are interested in developing a simple site with minimal effort, then there are much simpler—and free—options available. Wix is perhaps one of the most well-known free e-learning platforms because it allows users to create sites within minutes without having any prior knowledge of code; additionally, its customizable templates offer numerous options for educators and businesses that want their site design specific to their brand.
Figure Out What Content Will Be Available
Before you even think about building your online education website, it’s important to have a plan in place for what content will be available. Decide on how many courses you want to offer and what subjects they will cover.
Do some market research and figure out which courses would be most in-demand by potential students. These topics might include web design, business administration, sports medicine, or finance. Once you’ve determined your plan of action, pick a platform that can help support all of your educational needs.
Decide on How Updates Will Happen
While there are a lot of open-source content management systems (CMS) available, you might want to consider using one that was specifically built for online education websites.
For example, if you opt for WordPress (the CMS on which your website is based), then you have thousands of themes and plugins at your disposal; building a learning management system from scratch can take a long time and it’s always good to have pre-existing resources when launching something new.
In terms of updates, one advantage of selecting your own CMS is that if you run into any problems or need custom functionality or updates, they’re often fairly easy and quick to handle—there are companies who specialize in updating WordPress sites, such as MyThemeShop.
Determine if There Should be a Mobile Version of the Site
If you’re building a learning management system for corporate clients, you should also consider if there needs to be a mobile version of your site. In many cases, it will be necessary; in others, your users may not need access on smartphones and tablets.
No matter what, it will probably make sense to test out different versions of your course website with specific audiences so that you can see how they respond—and then use that information when planning out future versions of your site.
Set Up a Payment Structure
Whether you want to charge users for a one-time course or teach monthly subscriptions, you’ll need a payment structure in place before getting started. You can always change things down the line, but having your initial plan figured out in advance will help keep you on track and ensure that your site has everything it needs for seamless and secure transactions.
If you’re not sure what type of pricing structure is best for your business, take some time researching sites similar to yours and find out how they get paid.
For example, if people are going to be paying monthly fees on your site, look at membership sites with a subscription model like Buzzfeed Community or Reddit Gold; if you think people will want access all year long then go with something like Netflix or Amazon Prime.
Choose a Hosting Provider
You should choose a hosting provider based on factors such as reliability, security, and customer service. While your choice will ultimately come down to personal preference and budgetary concerns, it’s important that you don’t sacrifice quality for the price.
For instance, with respect to reliability and uptime, cheaper services could potentially result in loss of revenue from angry students who were unable to access your course at critical times (e.g., during a final exam).
This is why it is so important that you take these factors into consideration when choosing a host. While the budget will likely be one of your primary considerations, there are certainly more affordable hosting options out there that provide better value than higher-priced providers.
Develop a Marketing Strategy
There are several ways to build an online education website, and you’ll want to take your marketing strategy into account when deciding how much of your time or money you want to spend.
You can also choose from among many different types of business models, including membership websites (including paid memberships), one-time purchases, consulting services, and so on.
Although platforms such as WordPress or Wix make it easy for users without any coding experience to create a beautiful website (as long as you’re OK with using their templates), using a website builder can hamper your ability to customize things in later steps and limit what kinds of integrations you can use. Some popular online course-building platforms include Teachable, ZippyCourses, and WizIQ.