We’ve been talking about what course platforms are the best for hosting your courses. 

First we looked at the difference between self hosting and all in one platforms. If you missed that you can check it out here.

Then we talked about the various all in one options and how to make decisions if that is the route you want to go. You can read that post here.

Today we will take a look at self hosting your course, which in my opinion is the best way to go, and I’ll share why.

Self hosting your course simply means all of your course materials live on a site that you own and host.  

Maybe it’s a course on your existing site, or perhaps you create an entirely new site for your course.

And if you’re really familiar with website, maybe you build your course on a subdomain of your existing site.

Whatever the case, the key is that you build your course on your site and use your software to fulfill it.

Let’s talk about what that means.

Hosting your own course comes with some advantages that are indisputable and can be very valuable as you launch and scale your course:


You own your content. No matter what happens, your content is hosted on your own servers and you have control over what happens with it.


The design is totally customizable and brandable. You can set your course up however you see fit and make sure the look and feel are exactly what you are looking for.


You can add whatever functionality you would like by integrating endless options to make your course work for you.

 

You can control the investment needed for a self hosted course, within reason. With a 3rd party platform you are subject not only to transaction fees, but also to changes in pricing and pricing structure, sometimes paying more as you acquire more students or launch more courses.


There are other reasons as well, but these 4 are my magic 4 that make self hosting a much more practical and long term appealing option.

Ok, let’s say you are hosting your course on your site. You’ve made the decision and are ready to commit!

Congratulations!

Now what?

Now it’s time to decide what platform to use and start building your course.

It’s exciting, and overwhelming, and energizing, and…

Paralyzing!

Not to worry. In the self hosted course arena there are limited choices and, in my opinion, one of them stands head and shoulders above the rest.

And that is LearnDash.

Why am I so clearly supporting one system here? 

Simple. It is, in my opinion, the most robust and flexible program out there.

LearnDash is used by some of the largest companies out there who supply training to employees and customers alike.

It is robust enough to support as many courses as you want with as many lessons and as many topics as you can imagine.

It will allow you to add media to any topic or lesson, require quizzes and issue certificates.

It also offers an extensive variety of 3rd party plugins that extend the functionality of it which allows it to meet almost any need you can imagine.

Now, before you buy in completely, it’s still important to do your due diligence and make sure LearnDash, or another self hosted course platform, will work for you.

You will need to follow some of the same steps you would follow if you were considering an all in one solution. 

Ask yourself the following questions:


What functionality will each of your lessons and topics need?


What kind of reporting would you like to look at on a regular basis?


What kind of communication would you like to have with your students?


As you start answering these questions you will no doubt think of more. That’s ok. That’s normal and it’s how you will build a truly remarkable course.

One of the advantages of a self hosted course is the freedom it gives you to design your students’ experiences down to the finest detail, and the opportunity for you to create exactly what you have dreamt of creating.

That can also leave you with a lot of questions that you have to answer.

That is gift, even though it may not always feel like one. 🙂

So tomorrow we will take a look at the other systems you will need to compliment your course platform so you can deliver a truly exceptional experience to your students.


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