How to Create an Online Course with WordPress

Creating an online course with WordPress is an easy process.  In this tutorial we’re going to look at how to create a course using WP Courses.  WP Courses is a free and easy-to-use WordPress plugin that’s used for creating online courses.

What to Expect

If you follow through with this tutorial, by the end you’ll have created a beautiful looking course with lessons, video content and quizzes that looks something like the following:

Download and Install WP Courses

First thing you’ll want to do is download WP Courses.  You can do that by visiting the WP Courses plugin page in the plugin repository here:

Now that you have the plugin downloaded, you’ll want to install it.

  1. Go to Plugins->Add New
  2. Click “upload plugin”
  3. Click “browse” and select the zip file you just downloaded
  4. Click “install now”

After WP Courses has been installed you’ll want to activate it by clicking “activate.”

Setup WP Courses

WP Courses has a very simple setup process.

  1. Create a new page by going to Pages->Add New and give this page a title like “Courses”
  2. Paste the shortcode [wpc_courses] in the page content
  3. Go to appearance->menus in the admin area and create a link to the page you just created

That’s it!  You’re now ready to begin creating your first course.

Create a Teacher

Creating a teacher isn’t required however if you’d like to give your students the ability to learn a bit about who’s teaching the course, it’s recommended that you create one or more teachers.

  1. In the admin area of your website go to WP Courses->teachers
  2. Click “add new”
  3. Give your teacher a name and write their bio in the content area
  4. If you’d like to include a picture, click “set featured image” in the box with the title “Featured Image” and select or upload the image you’d like to use

You’ll connect one or more teachers to a course when you create one.

Create Course Difficulties

Course difficulties aren’t required but they’re a good way to give your students a rough indication of the expected difficulty for your course.

  1. Go to WP Courses->Course Difficulties
  2. Give your difficulty a name like “easy” or “2”
  3. Click “add new difficulty”

Create Course Categories

Course categories aren’t required or even necessary if you have only one or two courses.  They do become quite important when you have more than a couple courses though because they make navigating through your courses much easier.

  1. Go to WP Courses->Course Categories
  2. Give your category a name
  3. Click “add new category”

Create Your First Online Course with WordPress and WP Courses

Before creating a course, it’s important that you understand what a “course” is in WP Courses.  A course contains a title, description and featured video or image.  The actual learning content for each course is called “lessons” which are attached to a course.  We’ll look at creating and attaching lessons to your course soon.

  1. Go to WP Courses->Courses
  2. Click “add new”
  3. Select a course category (optional)
  4. Select a course difficulty (optional)
  5. Select a course teacher (optional)
  6. Give your course a title and description
  7. Add a course image or video (optional)
  8. Click “save”

You now have a course, but your course needs some lessons.

Create Course Lessons

Lessons contain the learning material for your course.  For example, if you have a course called “Anatomy for Artists,” you might have the following as your first few lessons:

  1. Introduction
  2. Suggested Materials
  3. Proportions
  4. Drawing the torso
  5. Drawing legs
  6. Drawing arms
  7. And so on…

To create your first lessons:

  1. Go to WP Courses -> Lessons
  2. Click “add new”
  3. Type your lesson title and content
  4. Copy and paste a video into the lesson video box (optional)
  5. Connect your lesson to one or more courses
  6. Under “Lesson Restriction” choose whether or not you’d like to require that users be logged in to view this specific lesson
  7. Click “save”

Order Your Lessons

Ordering lessons is simple.

  1. Go to WP Courses->Order Lessons and Manage Modules
  2. Select the course you’d like to order lessons for
  3. Drag and drop the lessons in the order you’d like

Add Modules

Modules are a way of breaking groups of lessons down into sections.  To add modules to your course:

  1. Go to WP Courses -> Order Lessons and Manage Modules
  2. Select the course you’d like to work on
  3. Click “add module”
  4. Give the module a title
  5. Drag and drop the module where you’d like it to appear
  6. Saving is automatic

Create Quizzes

Creating quizzes is easy.

  1. Go to WP Courses->Quizzes
  2. Click “add new”
  3. Give your quiz a title
  4. Select the question type (either multiple choice or multiple answer)
  5. Fill in the question you’d like to ask
  6. Fill in the answers to choose from
  7. Add more questions by clicking “add question”
  8. Order your questions by dragging and dropping


You’ve now created your very first course using WordPress and WP Courses!

Need More?

If you’d like to sell your course, create courses for members only, award badges or certificates or send triggered emails, you can do all that and more with WP Courses Premium.