Getting Started with MemberPress Courses

Video Overview


Install the Courses Add-on

First, you'll need to install the MemberPress Courses add-on by visiting the MemberPress menu > Courses page in your WordPress dashboard. If you don't see the MemberPress > Courses menu item, you may need to update the MemberPress plugin to the latest version.

Next, locate the Courses add-on and click to install it. Again, if you don't see the Courses add-on listed, ensure your license key is up to date and activated on the MemberPress settings page, or try refreshing the add-ons.

After installing the add-on, it will be activated on your site. Then, you'll be redirected back to the Courses page, where you can create your first Course.

Create Your First Course

Now you're ready to create your very first course. If you don't have your content/layout fully put together, pause and take a few minutes to write down your course title, section headings, and the name for each lesson. (You might want to check out this post on the MemberPress blog: How To Create A Solid Online Course for your Membership Site.)

Next, visit your new MemberPress > Courses page, and you'll see the following buttons at the top:

Click on Add New to add a new Course.

Course Page

Give your Course a catchy title and some content below the title. This content will show up as the course overview/description on the front end. Please do not add your curriculum or course layout here; we'll do that in the next step below.

Curriculum

Once you've created your course title and description, click on the "Curriculum" tab at the top to add your Sections and Lessons.

The first thing you'll do here is add a Section. Think of Sections as containers or modules that help you organize your Lessons into groups.

Below is a sample of how you might layout your Sections:

Expand each Section to add Lessons or a Quiz, as shown below:

NOTE: For more info on how to use MemberPress Quizzes, visit this page.

Note: A Lesson can only belong to one section within a Course at a time. If you need the same lesson in multiple Sections or Courses, you'll need to create new Lessons for each one.

Once a Lesson or Quiz is created, it will show up in a list on the right side of the page:

You can search for existing Lessons and use the grid icon on the left to drag them into a Section within your Course. If the Lesson already exists in another Course or Section, it will be moved to a new the location.

To Edit a Lesson or Quiz, click the edit icon next to it:

While editing a Lesson or Quiz, you can return to your Course by clicking the Back to link at the top of the editor:

To View a Lesson or Quiz, click the View button next to it. This will open the lesson for viewing on the front end in a new window or tab in your browser:

To remove a Lesson or Quiz from a Section, click the Remove icon next to it. This does not delete the item permanently; it just removes it from your course. You can still find your item in the list on the right side of the page.

To fully delete a Lesson or Quiz, click the trash icon next to it (within the list on the right):

Once you've finished filling out your Curriculum, head to the Settings page to configure your Course Settings.

Settings

Course-Specific Settings

Course-specific settings can be found when editing a course and clicking the "Settings" tab.

The first setting you'll see is the option to Include in Course Listing. The Course Listing page is a page on the front end of your website where all of your Courses are displayed in a nice, searchable grid. Typically found at https://yoursite.com/courses/ - More on that below...

The second setting you'll see is the Use Accordion in Course Page. Enabling this option will display an accordion for the sections within this course on the Course Listing page:

The third setting is Use Accordion in Lesson sidebar. Enabling this option will display an accordion for the sections within this course on the sidebar when viewing a lesson:

The fourth setting you'll see is the Sales Page URL setting. This should point to the URL of the MemberPress Membership registration page that provides access to your Course.

If you're unsure what your Membership Registration URL is, you can find it in the MemberPress menu > Memberships page. Copy the URL next to the Membership as shown below:

Then paste the URL into the Sales Page field as shown:

The fifth setting is Require Previous Lesson/Quiz. Enabling this option will require course participants to complete the previous lesson or quiz before proceeding to the next lesson or quiz.

The sixth setting is Show Question Results. With this option enabled, course participants will see whether the answer they provided on the quiz was correct:

The last setting is Show Question Answers. With this option enabled, course participants will see the correct answers after they've completed their quiz:

Global Course Settings

Global course settings can be found under the "Courses" tab on the MemberPress settings page.

The first setting you'll see is Courses Slug. By default, the slug will be "courses", but you can use this option to change the slug to whatever you'd like:

The second setting is Classroom Mode. When Classroom Mode is enabled, the courses display on the front end within a self-contained interface, which is easy to navigate, free of distractions from your theme and other plugins, and not subject to CSS interference from other elements on your site. Enabling Classroom Mode will expand an area with a few more settings:

Classroom Mode Settings

  • Brand Color - Use this field to change the background color of the navigation bar.
  • Accent Color - Use this field to change the accent color.
  • Progress Bar - Use this field to change the color of the progress bar, which shows how far a participant has progressed on their course.
  • Menu Text Color - Use this field to change the color of the text in menu items.
  • Logo - Use this field to add a custom logo to your header in Classroom Mode.
  • Lesson Button Location - Choose where to position the continue/back buttons when viewing a lesson. This can be set to either "Top", "Bottom", or "Both".
  • Complete Link CSS - Use this field to add custom CSS classes to the "Complete Lesson/Section/Course" links in each of your lessons.
  • Previous Link CSS - Use this field to add custom CSS classes to the "Previous Lesson/Section" links in each of your lessons.
  • Breadcrumb Link CSS - Use this field to add custom CSS classes to the breadcrumb links in each of your lessons.
  • WP Footer Hook - Use this field to enable/disable the WordPress footer hook. Enabling this option will allow scripts (and possibly styles) to be loaded by other plugins and your site's theme, even in Classroom Mode.

The third setting (excluding the Classroom Mode settings) is Show Protected Courses in Listing. By default, protected courses are displayed on the Course Listing page. In addition, a padlock icon will appear before the course title. Disabling this option will hide protected courses from the Course Listing page.

The last setting is the  Remove your instructor link. By default, a link to the instructor/author of the course will be displayed when viewing a course. Enabling this option will hide this link.

Note: Starting from MemberPress Courses version 1.1.6, you can allow Corporate Account owners to view the course progress and quiz scores for their sub-accounts

Adding a Course Image

You'll want to add a Course Image to help make it stand out on your Course Listing page (more about that below).

When editing your Course, click on the Course Page tab at the top. Then, in the right sidebar, look for the Featured Image option:

Tagging/Categorizing Your Courses

If you have multiple Courses, you might want to Categorize or Tag them to help you organize them. This will be particularly useful if you need to provide access to multiple Courses when a Member buys a Membership in MemberPress.

Back on the MemberPress > Courses page, you'll see buttons at the top for Categories and Tags.

Click on either Categories or Tags to add your Categories and Tags. For the most part, you'll likely want to use just Categories unless you have a specific reason to use both Categories and Tags.

After clicking Categories, you'll be taken to a page where you can create new or edit existing Categories.

For the purposes of this tutorial, we'll create a new category called "Membership Courses". We'll use this category to associate all of our Membership-related courses together. This will be important when we get to the Protection piece in the next step.

Protecting Your Course

If you're already familiar with MemberPress Rules, this will be very easy for you. If you're not, then have a look over the Rules documentation.

Without at least one Rule protecting your Course, it will be freely available to the public.

Protecting a Single Course

To protect a single Course, head to MemberPress > Rules > Add New page, and select the "Single Course" type from the drop-down. Then search for your Course by title and select it. Last, select which Membership(s) will provide access to this Course when purchased. Your Rule should then look something like this:

Your course is now protected from unauthorized views by guests or members who are not subscribed to one of the Membership(s) you selected in the Rule's Access Conditions.

Protecting All Courses

Protecting all Courses is very similar to protecting a single Course. Head to MemberPress > Rules > Add New and select the "All Courses" type from the drop-down. Then add your Membership(s) in the Access Conditions. This will make it so that a user must purchase that Membership if they'd like to gain access to all the Courses. For example, you might create a Platinum Membership which provides members access to all of your Courses. (NOTE: For more information about creating Memberships, see this page. To learn more about MemberPress Rules, visit this page.)

Your Rule should look something like this:

Protecting All Courses by Category

In some cases, you may want to provide access to more than one Course, but not all Courses, when a Member purchases a specific Membership. The best way to do this is to create a Category, as shown a few steps above. Then assign the Courses you want to that category.

Then visit MemberPress > Rules > Add New, and select the "Courses with Course Categories" type from the drop-down. Next, search for your category and select it. Last, add the Membership(s) that should provide access to the Courses in this category by adding them to your Access Conditions.

If done correctly, your Rule should look something like this:

This same thing can be done with Tags instead of Categories.

How Do Members Find My Courses?

Your Members will find your courses on the Courses listing page on your site. For most sites, this will be https://yoursite.com/courses/.

We STRONGLY recommend enabling the Classroom Mode setting in the MemberPress menu > Settings > Courses tab for the best user experience and design.

Your Members and guests will see your available Courses there:

When a Member is logged in, they can click the My Courses link in the menu at the top to view only the Courses they have access to.

Clicking on one of the Courses will open the Course overview, which will look something like this:

From here, your members can see the course overview, navigation, and instructor; they can also see their progress through the Course.

How Can I See a Member's Course Progress?

If you'd like to see how far along a particular Member is in one of your Courses, search for that Member from the WordPress Dashboard > Users page. Then click "Edit" on that User, and scroll down until you see the Course Information section.

What if Smartphone Browser Tries to Download Embedded PDF File Automatically?

It could be that you've added a PDF file to your course page using the standard Iframe method <iframe src=...></ifeame>. In such a case, the mobile phone browser will try to download the file automatically. To prevent that from happening, please use a plugin like EmbedPress. PDF files embedded that way will be shown on mobile browsers as well.

What if You See Classic Instead of Block Editor?

If you have both Classic and Block (Gutenberg) Editor installed and active and you see the Classic editor when you try to add a lesson or quiz, please go to your WordPress Dashboard -> Settings -> Writing and ensure that it is set up like this:

The Block editor needs to be set as the default one, and whether you'd want to allow or disallow switching is up to your preferences. Some page builders can cause similar issues, so if this doesn't fix it, please contact us.

Still Have Questions?

We're happy to help! Please contact us, and we'll do our very best to help you out.

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