Udemy is one of the most popular platforms for online courses, but for some course creators, it may not be the most ideal way to sell courses online. So what if you could create your own Udemy-like website?
Udemy is an attractive platform for online instructors looking to teach students new skills. Because it hosts your courses for you, it’s relatively easy to get started. You just need to make and upload your videos, structure your course, and launch it on the platform. However, this ease of use is countered with plenty of limitations.
Hosting and selling your online courses on your own website is an excellent way around this as you get most of the same benefits that Udemy provides, with arguably more flexibility and fewer limitations. Setting up a website on WordPress is relatively straightforward and is a great platform for course creators.
In this post, we’ll share the best ways to build your own online academy using WordPress and the top three WordPress themes that are similar to Udemy and that will be a great fit for your online education goals.
Should you use Udemy or your own website to sell courses?
Udemy is a popular platform for selling online courses, and not without reason. It’s easy to use and has a large user base. Searching for courses is just like using a search engine, so it’s highly likely that people will discover your courses by inputting relevant keywords. For example, if you sell art courses and someone searches for ‘how to draw still life’, your course could come up!
However, there are downsides to relying on Udemy. First of all, being a Udemy course creator is competitive. There could be hundreds of courses that are similar to what you offer, and unless you’re very established you might not be on the first page of the results. Secondly, Udemy takes a percentage of each sale you make as a premium instructor, which can obviously put a dent in your overall revenue.
Selling courses through your own WordPress website is a great alternative. This way, you’ll have full control over your website design and course content, and can keep all your revenue. If you market your website through SEO marketing and other channels, then you could become more of an authority than the average Udemy instructor that is offering a service on a third-party platform.
There are a few basic expenses required to create a fully functional WordPress website, namely your hosting service, and any premium WordPress plugins or themes you might use. However, once you map out your requirements, these will be fixed costs on a period-by-period basis and you won’t need to worry about losing money on every sale you make.
Ultimately, the choice between Udemy and WordPress will depend on your specific goals and needs. Both platforms have their own advantages and drawbacks, and the right choice for you will depend on what you hope to achieve with your course and how much time and resources you have to devote to it.
In order to decide whether to use Udemy or WordPress to sell your courses, it’s important to consider your goals and the resources you have available. To summarize, Udemy is a good choice if you’re looking to:
- Sell your courses from scratch
- Test the eLearning market for revenue with little initial investment
- Validate potential interest in a topic you’d like to create a course about but aren’t sure if there’s demand for
- Be more hands-off in the course-selling process and allow the platform to distribute and market your course for you at a cost
On the other hand, if you want more control over your course and the branding of your business, WordPress may be a better choice. With WordPress, you can:
- Scale a budding business to its full potential without worrying about additional costs
- Fully brand courses around your business’ services and offerings
- Take charge of your marketing efforts, and generate leads for other products and services you offer using courses, email marketing, and other tools you can integrate into your WordPress site
- Own your content
Comparing the two platforms, we recommend selling courses on WordPress. The next step is to choose a theme that will help you achieve the look and feel you want for your website. In the next section, we’ll be introducing the top three WordPress themes that will help you create a website that’s similar to Udemy. These themes will help you create a website that’s professional, user-friendly, and able to showcase your WordPress courses effectively.
Which are the top 3 WordPress themes similar to Udemy?
Having the right theme is crucial for your Udemy-style website. Fortunately, there are thousands of themes available just in the WordPress theme directory. It’s more than possible to find a good WordPress Udemy theme, and to help you get started, we’ve done the research for you.
The first theme on our list is Course, a free theme built by Automattic, which is the same company behind Sensei LMS. The theme is ideal for online course creators looking to replicate a Udemy experience because it’s designed to integrate flawlessly with Sensei, which makes it perfect for launching courses and lessons full of interactive Sensei Blocks and implementing advanced learning features such as content dripping, quizzes, learning in groups, and more.
It’s also designed to complement Sensei’s Learning Mode template, which promotes distraction-free learning. Together with Course and Sensei, you can create the ultimate learning experience!
Course is a modern WordPress theme, as it’s a block-based theme and is Full Site Editing ready. This gives you two main advantages:
- You can create content faster with lots of block patterns that you can use to quickly create well-designed landing pages, home pages, lesson pages, and more.
- Every element on your site is a block that you can edit, which means you can easily customize your WordPress templates to suit the specific layout requirements of your lessons.
Course offers multiple theme and color variations to help you craft the perfect look and feel for your website, which means you get much more control over how your courses look than what you’d get on Udemy.
Additionally, Course is built with fast performance in mind, as it’s designed with as little CSS as possible to ensure that your website loads quickly.
All in all, Course is a flexible and modern theme that’s ideal for anyone wanting to share their knowledge with the world. Whether you’re an educator, content creator, or just looking for a place to put all your content for free distribution, Course has something to offer you – especially if you pair it with Sensei.
The second theme on our list is Reign, by Wbcom Designs. This theme is a great choice for anyone looking to create a website that’s similar to Udemy in terms of style and features. With several Udemy-style course layouts, Reign helps you offer a minimalistic and clean look to your course list, similar to what you would find on Udemy.
Reign is also known for its aesthetically pleasing and engaging quiz and lesson pages, which are sure to keep learners engaged and interested in your courses. Additionally, this theme integrates with a learner’s profile, events calendar, and grading system, making it easy to track progress and keep everything organized.
It’s worth mentioning that Reign also integrates with Sensei LMS, and has a dedicated theme layout you can use if you plan on using this LMS plugin.
Astra is a popular WordPress theme that’s known for its flexibility and customization options, making it a great choice for anyone looking to create a website similar to Udemy.
One of the key features of Astra that makes it a good choice for creating a Udemy-style website is its page-builder-friendly design. This means you can use a page builder plugin, such as Elementor or Beaver Builder, to easily create custom pages and layouts for your website in the same style as Udemy.
Another important feature of Astra is its extensive library of starter templates, which can be imported directly into your site. This means you can get a head start on building your website and save time in the process.
Astra also offers live editing, which allows you to preview your design as you build it. This means you can make changes and see the results in real-time. Additionally, Astra has advanced styling options to help you create the look you want for your website.
How to make your own eLearning site using WordPress
We’ve laid out 3 choices for a WordPress Udemy theme above, that will let you create a Udemy-style course website with the flexibility of WordPress. Our top choice is Course, which is a flexible and modern theme that’s specifically designed for use with Sensei LMS, making it the perfect choice for anyone looking to create a professional, user-friendly website for their online academy.
Once you’ve chosen your Udemy WordPress theme, you can start creating your Udemy-style website. With just a few steps, you can have your own Udemy-like site up and running in no time. Here’s how to get started:
First, get a domain name of your choice: The first step in creating your own eLearning site is to choose a domain name that reflects your brand and what you do. This can be your business name, a keyword related to your courses, or something else that’s memorable and easy to remember. It’s important to choose a short and simple domain name so it’s easy for people to remember and visit your site.
Once you’ve chosen your domain name, the next step is to find a hosting provider that can host your website. Note that you may need to purchase the domain name beforehand, though you can sometimes do this directly through your managed WordPress host.
There are many hosting providers to choose from, but Pressable is a popular choice among WordPress users. Pressable offers fast and reliable hosting with a variety of plans to choose from, so you can find the right one for your needs. It’s also owned by Automattic!
Your hosting provider will create your WordPress backend for you. At this point, you’ll need to download, install, and activate the Course theme (or whichever theme you choose). Once your theme is set up, then you can set your global site design by choosing your preferred colors, fonts, heading styles, etc.
Then, you can start setting up your web pages and course content! For this, install the Sensei LMS plugin. Sensei LMS is a popular choice among course creators and will get you the closest to a Udemy-like experience on WordPress.
Like Udemy, Sensei has interactive quizzes, content drip, a focused Learning Mode, and more. This makes it easy to create engaging courses that keep learners engaged and motivated. Additionally, Sensei integrates with WooCommerce Payments, so you can sell courses right on your website easily and without giving any other third-party a cut of your earnings (other than payment gateways). With Udemy, you would have a fee on every sale, which can eat into your profits.
One of the key benefits of Sensei LMS is that it has a low learning curve since it’s made to work within WordPress. This means you can build courses using the Gutenberg block editor, which is the same way you’d build blogs, making it easy to get started even if you’re new to course creation. Additionally, Sensei includes Sensei Blocks, which are interactive content blocks with image hotspots for more learning content, flashcards, and more. This can be a great way to add more interactivity and engagement to your courses.
Build a Udemy-like website on WordPress with Sensei and Course
Creating a Udemy-like website using WordPress is a great way to share your knowledge and expertise with the world. By choosing the right theme and LMS plugin, you can create a professional, user-friendly website that’s similar to Udemy in terms of style and features.
Throughout this article, we’ve looked at the top three WordPress themes that are similar to Udemy and discussed the benefits of each. While all three themes are good options, we recommend Course as the best choice for creating a true Udemy-like site.
This is because Course is built for total integration with Sensei LMS, making it the perfect foundation for building a professional eLearning site. Course is free, so you won’t even need to front the cost of a premium WordPress theme to build your ideal online education website.
So if you’re ready to start your own Udemy-type website, we invite you to get started today. With Sensei LMS and Course, you’ll have everything you need to create a successful and engaging online academy. Don’t wait – start building your own Udemy-like website today and share your knowledge with the world!
Download Course for free.