WordPress is a fantastic platform for creating online course websites. With its user-friendly interface and wide range of customizable options, WordPress offers a versatile and powerful solution for course creators looking to share their knowledge and expertise online.
One of the most important steps in getting started with a WordPress online course website is choosing the right theme. There are hundreds of WordPress themes to choose from, but online course themes are specifically designed with features and layouts that are ideal for showcasing courses and other educational content.
In this article, we’ll explore the top online course themes for WordPress in 2023. We’ll take a look at eight of the best options, each with their own unique features and design styles, so that you can find the perfect theme for your course website.
Is WordPress a good platform for creating online courses?
WordPress is an excellent platform for creating online courses for a number of reasons. First, course creators who use WordPress fully own their content, meaning they have complete control over how it is presented and shared. This is especially important for independent course creators who want to ensure their courses reflect their unique branding and teaching style.
Another benefit of using WordPress for online courses is its high level of customization. With a wide range of plugins and themes available, WordPress allows course creators to design their eLearning site exactly as they want, including adding additional pages such as an online store. This makes WordPress a great fit for a wide range of course creators, including independent educators, online coaches, and academic institutions.
To create online courses on WordPress, you’ll need an LMS plugin that includes all the functionality you need such as multimedia blocks, grading and assessment features, content drip and content scheduling, and more. A popular course builder plugin is Sensei LMS, which is built by Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com and Jetpack.
It’s important to use an online course theme for your WordPress site because it will be designed with a good learning experience in mind. It should include lots of learner-friendly templates to choose from and is often designed with a specific LMS plugin in mind.
Your alternative to selling using WordPress is an external online learning platform. Platforms like Udemy offer a built-in marketplace for selling courses, but course creators do not fully own their content. This means that Udemy has control over how courses are presented and shared, and course creators must adhere to Udemy’s policies and guidelines. Additionally, Udemy takes a percentage of course sales.
In addition, WordPress makes it easy to set up an online store via WooCommerce. This means that course creators can easily sell their courses directly from their WordPress site, without needing to use a separate platform. For example, with Sensei Pro and WooCommerce you can set up courses as sellable products, which customers add to their cart and purchase as they would any other product. And, since WordPress allows course creators to keep all of the revenue from their sales, minus transaction fees owed to payment gateways, it’s a financially attractive option for many educators.
What should you look for in an online course WordPress theme?
While creating a WordPress site is relatively straightforward, it can take some time to configure it exactly to your requirements. That’s where an online course theme comes in handy. Online course themes are designed with the essential features that course creators need, such as customizable layouts and integrations with popular learning management system (LMS) plugins like Sensei LMS. These features make it easy for course creators to quickly set up a professional-looking course website that is ready to launch.
When choosing an online course WordPress theme, there are several key features to look for. These include SEO optimization, responsive design, multilingual support (through WPML or another platform), customizable widgets, and RTL support. A good online course theme should also offer easy-to-use theme options, support for plugins including pre-styled contact forms, and user-friendly sliders.
All of these features can help you create a professional-looking online course website that is easy to navigate and use for your students. Look for a theme that offers a range of customization options, allowing you to tailor the look and feel of your website to match your brand and teaching style.
The top 8 online course themes for WordPress
Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of using WordPress for creating online courses, let’s take a look at the top online course themes for WordPress in 2023. In this section, we’ll explore eight of the best options, so that you can find the perfect theme for your course website.
Course is a WordPress theme that is designed to be used with the popular Sensei LMS plugin. This combination is ideal for course creators, as it offers a range of features that make it easy to create and sell courses on WordPress.
One of the key benefits of using Course with Sensei LMS is that Course is a free theme, which means that you can comfortably invest in premium Sensei plans such as Sensei Pro, which is necessary for selling courses.
Course also comes with a range of in-built block patterns that are designed to help you build lesson content quickly and showcase Sensei’s multimedia features, such as:
- Sensei Blocks, which are interactive blocks you can place anywhere on your site. Examples of Sensei Blocks include Image Hotspots and Flashcards.
- Quizzes – Sensei offers 7 question types that you can include in your lessons.
- Course progress bars, which lets students know how much of the course material they’ve completed.
Additionally, Course is a block theme, which means it works seamlessly with the Gutenberg editor. This is particularly useful for Sensei users, as Sensei also uses the Gutenberg interface, unlike many other LMS plugins. This means that you’ll have a seamless experience building your course website and creating lesson content, without the need to switch between different interfaces.
Course is also designed to be completely seamless with Sensei’s Learning Mode, which is intended to provide a distraction-free learning experience for students. This means that you can create a course website that is focused on delivering high-quality content, without any unnecessary distractions.
Another key benefit of using Course is its minimal design. This means that the theme doesn’t overshadow the important course-creating features that Sensei provides, allowing you to focus on creating and selling your courses. At the same time, Course’s minimal design allows for a high level of customization, so you can create a beautiful website that reflects your brand and teaching style.
Additionally, Course’s minimal design means that it is compliant with accessibility guidelines, such as Section 508 guidelines. This is important for course creators who need to ensure that their website is accessible to all students, regardless of any disabilities they may have.
Overall, Course is an excellent theme for course creators who want to create and sell courses on WordPress using Sensei LMS. Its seamless integration with Sensei, minimalist design, and focus on accessibility make it a great choice for creating professional-looking course websites.
BuddyBoss is an advanced online course theme that is designed to create a virtual classroom experience for students. With BuddyBoss, you can create member profiles and member types. This can be a useful feature for creating personalized learning experiences and providing tailored support to different groups of students.
BuddyBoss also includes the ability to integrate with popular tools such as Zoom, which can be useful for hosting live classes or meetings with your students. Additionally, BuddyBoss includes forums, which can be a useful feature for creating a sense of community among your students. Forums can be a great place for students to discuss course content, ask questions, and provide feedback, which can help to create a more engaging and interactive learning experience.
One of the key features of BuddyBoss is its integration with the LearnDash LMS plugin, which is a popular tool that allows you to build and manage online courses on WordPress. However, it’s worth noting that both BuddyBoss and LearnDash are paid products, which means that using this theme can be quite expensive. This makes BuddyBoss a better option for advanced online education platforms that are looking for a highly customizable and feature-rich theme.
WPLMS is an all-in-one LMS theme for WordPress that allows you to create online courses without the need for additional plugins. Its main advantage is its use of Progressive Web App (PWA) technology, which allows for fast loading times and smooth navigation. This means that students can download courses and follow them offline, which can be a useful feature for learners with unstable internet connections.
It’s worth noting that WPLMS’s course-building options may be somewhat limited compared to other themes. For example, WPLMS only offers three quiz types, which may not be enough for some course creators who need more flexibility in their assessments.
Overall, WPLMS is a solid option for course creators who want a simple and straightforward way to create online courses on WordPress.
Educavo is an online course theme that is designed to be used with a range of popular LMS plugins, including LearnDash, LearnPress, and TutorLMS. This can be a useful feature for course creators who want the flexibility to choose from a range of LMS options, depending on their specific needs. However, it’s worth noting that Educavo is not compatible with other LMS plugins, such as Sensei, which may be an issue for some course creators.
Educavo includes a range of pre-built demos that you can import to get started quickly. This can be a useful feature for course creators who want to create a professional-looking course website without the need to start from scratch. Additionally, Educavo is compatible with the popular Elementor drag and drop page builder, which can be useful for course creators who want to customize their website’s design.
Educavo’s compatibility with Elementor means that it may not be the best choice for course creators who prefer to use Gutenberg for course building. Overall, Educavo is a solid online course theme that offers a range of useful features, such as pre-built demos and compatibility with popular page builders. However, its limited compatibility with Sensei and its focus on Elementor may not be a good fit for all course creators.
Skillfully is a solid online course theme that is designed to integrate with the Sensei LMS plugin. However, it’s worth noting that Skillfully is only compatible with Sensei 1.9, and not the latest version of Sensei. This means that if you want a theme built around the latest version of Sensei, you may be better off with a different theme, such as Course.
Despite this limitation, Skillfully does offer a few interesting features that may be useful for course creators. For example, Skillfully includes an events calendar, which can be a useful feature for managing and promoting live classes or workshops. Additionally, Skillfully allows you to create a professional online marketplace for your courses, which can be a useful feature if you want to sell courses or recruit a team of experts to create an academy of tutors.
Astra is one of the most popular WordPress themes, and it includes an online course template that can be useful for course creators. One of the key advantages of Astra is its compatibility with a range of LMS plugins, including Sensei. This means that if you like the online course template that Astra offers, it can be a good choice for you.
However, it’s worth noting that Astra is a vast product, which means that you may not get many updates that are specifically geared toward online course creators. Additionally, Astra’s focus on general-purpose website design may mean that it doesn’t offer as many features and tools specifically tailored to the needs of online course creators.
Eduma is a solid online course theme that is designed to work with the LearnPress LMS plugin. One of the key advantages of Eduma is that it includes a range of premium LearnPress add-ons, which can be useful for course creators who want to extend the functionality of their online courses.
Additionally, Eduma is designed to work with popular page builders such as Elementor and WPBakery, which can be useful for course creators who want to customize their website’s design. However, it’s worth noting that Eduma is not compatible with Gutenberg, which may be an issue for course creators who prefer to use Gutenberg for course building.
Geeks is an online course theme that is designed to work with the Tutor LMS plugin and the Elementor page builder. It includes a special Geeks Elementor plugin that allows you to easily create pages and add elements to your website based on the theme’s page templates. This can be a useful feature for course creators who want a simple and intuitive way to customize their website’s design. Geeks is a solid online course theme that offers a range of useful features for course creators who want to use Tutor LMS and Elementor.
Build your online course site on WordPress with the Course theme
Additionally, Course is free, which makes it much easier for course creators to get the Sensei Pro plan and take advantage of its advanced features. Course’s well-designed block patterns make it easy for course creators to quickly design great-looking pages for their online courses.
If you’re a course creator looking to build your online course site on WordPress, we encourage you to download Course for free and learn more about Sensei. With Course and Sensei, you’ll have all the tools you need to create, launch, and sell your online courses on WordPress.