Online courses - Wordpress or alternative ?

Aug 05, 2011

I currently run a training agency, travelling around the UK to deliver courses.

I am now branching into E-Learning and wondered if anyone could advise on the best options.

My training website is set up using wordpress, so ideally I'd like the E-Learning site to run from wordpress too... it would be a separate site running independently from my current site.

with regards to features I would need the following:

  • I have 5 Topics each of which has approximately 10 separate courses.
  • Each course consists of text and images with a short test at the end producing a certificate.
  • Each course is paid for individually.

Ideally I would like an intro, course info and login page to be shown to anyone who enters the site.

A paid registration system which would give a username and password and give rights to a particular course.

The user would login and then see the menu for courses they have enrolled on.

Is this possible? I can find subscription plugins but nothing seems to do as I want, would ideally like a free plugin to try this out... do any exist ?

Would I be able to create something through Paypal and somehow integrate that as a payment method ?

How would username and roles be put in place if paypal is used?

Any help is appreciated

5 Replies
David Anderson

Hi Katie,

That's a really great question and  something I know a lot of consultants are interested in.

Do you need anything like tracking or reporting on your courses? Or are you just trying to control membership and access to specific courses?

The best plugin I know for memberships and subscription-based hosting is from WPMU:

You can create content that's available to public, registered members and paid members.

Maybe that will help?

(Also: if you decide to go with that plugin, don't buy from WPMU. Instead, check out for a better price)

David Anderson

@Katie - I don't know if they offer a trial. You can purchase the individual plugin for around $40. If you look at their customers, you'll see some of the more popular sites using it. I have not used it and I don't own it so I'm just sharing what I hear is the most-used option.

Another consideration is payment and subscription management. Look at merchants and cart systems that offer subscription services. PayPal obviously has this and some of the bigger ecommerce vendors like and

The tracking is another issue. That's when something like Phil's suggestion of SCORM cloud might be important. Also something like Drupal and Moodle are better designed for tracking.

If tracking isn't a deal-breaker, WordPress is the best choice for what you're trying to accomplish.

Jim Kitzmiller

Katie David said:

Yeah I would like to add tracking if possible but it wouldn't be a deciding factor.

Do you know if there are any free or trial versions of plugins like the wpmudev to test it out before purchasing?

Thanks for your reply

Hi Katie,There is a free trial version of MemberWing-X. The trial limits you to ten members. And it includes advertising.You could find free membership plugins by searching on your WordPress dashboard.Jim

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