How to Build OnlinePMCourses

A couple of people have asked about how I built OnlinePMCourses, and the tech that makes it work.

Well, here with some unashamed affiliate links, is the technology I use, and my brief assessment of it.

I produce a lot of free content for OnlinePMCourses, so if you are interested in trying or buying any of these products or services, I’d greatly appreciate you using these links. They won’t add to your costs, but they will give me a little funding to help keep the free stuff going.

Core Technology

Website: WordPress

This site is built with WordPress, an open source content management system (CMS).

Web Hosting: WPX Hosting

My web host is WPX Hosting, and this was the second big decision I made. And it is a decision I have not regretted for a second. Their customer service and technical support are everything you could wish for and put any other online tech support service to shame. Their strengths are in WordPress hosting (they don’t host any other website technologies) and the security that goes with it.

Website Development: Thrive Themes

You can do a lot with WordPress out of the box (or, to be more accurate, from the base installation), but its huge flexibility comes from the vast ecosystem of Themes and Plugins. Themes set up the way your website will look and plugins add functionality.

A brilliant investment was to become a member of Thrive Themes. Their themes are solid (this site uses Rise) b its their plugins that deliver the punch.

  • Architect allows me to build custome landing pages and
  • Optimize allows me to A/B test any elements
  • Leads captures email contacts in many ways (and integrates brilliantly with my email marketing solution, below)
  • Ultimatum creates time limited offers
  • Ovation captures and displays testimonials
  • Quiz builder is brilliant fun with a serious edge
  • Comments enhances the native WordPress comments functionality

All of this comes with the Thrive Membership package. WordPress and Thrive were not decisions I consciously made for OnlinePMCourses. I already used both and was confident they would work well for this project.

Website Security: Malcare and Wordfence

Years ago, another website of mine got compromised. The host was next to useless, and the long term consequence is my move (via another host) to WPX Hosting (see above). But much as I trust WPX to provide good hosting security and great support, I am keen o do what I can to secure my site.

I use two complementary security products to protect this website: Wordfence and Malcare.

Wordfence is a security plugin that provides a firewall and blocking against attack.

Malcare scans for and can clean up malware that may get onto my site.

Course Platform: Teachable

There are many course platforms available now. The first big decision I made was to host my courses on Teachable. And, while the range of competitors has grown and strengthened, i’ve not regretted my choice. I like the technology and I like the ethics of the people who run the business. While other platforms may work for you, I’m very happy with my choice.

And, more to the point, so are my students, who find it easy and appealing to use.

Email Contact: Active Campaign

The third big decision I made, after my course platform and web host was what email service I would use t stay in touch with my community. I wanted something that could automate some quite sophisticated logic. This ruled out appealingly simple solutions like MailChimp (which I also use and love). On the basis of several recommendations, I tried Active Campaign.

It is astonishingly capable (almost as sophisticated as Infusionsoft but much easier to use) but at an exceptionally affordable price point, below any of its realistic competitors, and on a par with simple mailing software like MailChimp. It’s been brilliant.

Making the Course Videos

Video-making has become a passion and a pleasure for me. I’ve discovered a new hobby as well as a part of my business.

Video Recording

I built my own home studio, on a budget, and am continuing to make incremental upgrades to further improve the quality of my videography. You can see the gear I use for video production at kit.com.

Video Editing

I edit on an iMac, using apple’s Final Cut Pro X, and Motion to customize titles and effects I buy from various vendors. There are a lot of independent plugin creators whose work I like and support: Ripple, CrumplePop, Jon Belew, Stupid Raisins. The resources I use a lot are from:

But I would never have been able to do the kid of editing I do, without he solid grounding I learned from Ripple Training. Their videos are not just a model of good technology video training, their business has been a model for how I am trying to grow and operate OnlinePMCourses. I love their generosity.

Marketing and Promotion

A business like this would be nowhere without marketing and promotion. And I am ever a learner in this arena. It does not come naturally to me, and the landscape is forever shifting. I work to the principle of building the best content i can; both for sale and promotional. That way, if I can promote it in any way, my hope is that the word will get out. This is, I am sure, the philosophy behind many of the best online training businesses.

Social Media

I use tools to manage and automate social media promotion:

Content Creation

Good quality images are a huge asset for any website, and especially to liven up an article. Two paid sites I use a lot are:

And my favourite Free sites are:

Other Resources

Sometimes it pays to be alert for bargains. Two sites frequently offer hugely advantageous deals and I have bought from both of them:

  • Slanted towards internet marketers and entrepreneurs: AppSumo
  • Targeted at designers and creative professionals: Mighty Deals

 


 

Reminder: some of the links above contain affiliate codes. You won’t pay more and will possibly pay less. But I will earn a small comission on any purchases you make, tat will help me to keep providing a stream of free content.

Disclaimer: I use all the products and services listed above. This means I have assessed them carefully against my needs and preferences. This does not mean they are the right products and services for you, and you must compare them against alternatives on the market before making your own selection.

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