How To Host Your Course Online - Online Course How

How To Host Your Course Online

Once you’ve recorded your course, it’s time to get it up online and out into the world.

Hosting your course online used to be a major headache but with the boom in online courses over the last few years many easier options have sprung up.

So many options, in fact, that you can spend weeks trying to decide between them. And to be honest, this is really just a diversion from what really matters – getting your online course out there and promoting it.

I’ve spent a lot of time looking into different platforms and ways of hosting your course, and you can see a more complete review of the best online course platforms here.

In this article, however, I’m going to help save you a lot of time, indecision and headache by just recommending 2 options.

I highly recommend not stewing over this for too long. Pick an option and go for it.

Option 1: Hosted For You

This is the easiest method if you are not already familiar with setting up your own WordPress website. Even if you do know how to do that, it may still be a better option for you if you don’t want to spend hours setting up a new custom site for your course.

I can highly recommend Teachable as a great platform for hosting your online course (I've written a more in-depth Teachable review over here if you want to learn more).

I have had a go with the software and it’s ridiculously simple.

They take care of all the tech side of things, so all you need to do is upload your course content, add some text about what the course is all about, and link it up to take payments with either a Stripe or PayPal account.

If you have your videos already made, you can have your course up online within a couple of hours.

It enables you to focus on what matters most - building an audience, promoting your course and supporting your students.​​

You lose some of the customisation of a self-hosted solution, and of course you have to pay Teachable for their service, but the fees are pretty reasonable in my opinion – especially as it makes it so damn simple.

Plus you can customise the look of your online school to a good degree fairly easily without any tech knowledge, and there are loads of tutorials and good support to help you get set up and going.​

Option 2: Self Hosted

For those who maybe already have their own blog/website, or don’t feel put off by the idea of learning how to set one up, the other main option for you is a self-hosted course. This basically means that the course sits on a system that you yourself own, rather than a platform owned by someone else.

There are many reasons you might prefer this, but the main reasons are that it gives you more control over the design and look of your course and, beyond the setup phase, it is cheaper to run - meaning more of the profit stays with you.

If this appeals to you, then I can highly recommend WP Courseware, a WordPress plugin created especially for hosting an online course on your own site.

The design looks really good, it’s flexible and you can use it alongside other WordPress plugins. It also integrates with plenty of 3rd party email list providers and payment options.

So what’s the downside? Well, it’ll probably cost more time and money upfront to set up and you'll need to look after any tech issues yourself, but as I said before it’ll cost less on a monthly basis afterwards.

Make A Decision & Do It

The point to hammer home here is that you really shouldn’t let this part of the process get in the way.

When we started to build our online mushroom growing course in 2014, there were few options out there and we agonised over all of them, wasting a lot of time and energy.

We eventually chose Optimizepress, which is a flexible self-hosted WordPress platform which, amongst other things, enables you to make a membership site. However, we had to pay a developer $1,500 to help us set it all up because it wasn’t quick and simple, and we’ve spent a lot of time since tweaking little bits here and there.

Unless you enjoy tweaking things to get them exactly how you like them, I would strongly suggest to just go with Teachable - it's simple and quick to get going and, if you really want to, you can always switch to a different option further down the line once you see success.

You might also read my comparison of the 5 best online course platforms over here.

However, the success of your online course depends far more on you spending your time and effort promoting it and engaging with your audience – not on lengthy indecision about which course platform to use or fiddling around with custom web design.

So go on - get to it! Get your course up online and out there into the world.