How to create an e-learning website – technologies, monetisation and ideas to build a successful site

Last checked and updated on 31 October 2022

So you’ve decided to build your own e-learning website? That’s great news! There are plenty of reasons why creating your own e-learning platform might be the best decision for your business or education establishment.

In this article, we will explore some of the different technologies, monetisation models and design ideas that can help you build a successful e-learning website.

We’ll also take a look at some of the important factors to consider when making this type of investment, such as budget and development time. So let’s get started!


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Contents

How to build an e-learning website

  1. Decide whether this is definitely the right option for you

    There are many reasons why you might want to create your own e-learning website.

  2. Choose what type of e-learning website you need

    When it comes to creating an e-learning website, there are a few different approaches you can take. The most popular platformstend to be either fully self-contained websites or plugins that can be added to an existing website.

  3. Choose a platform to provide your e-learning functionality

    There are many different types of e-learning platforms out there, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.

  4. Decide on your monetisation method

    Once you’ve decided on the platform you’re going to use for your e-learning website, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to make money from it.

  5. Plan your e-learning development budget

    The cost of creating an e-learning website can vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of platform you choose, the features you want to include, and the amount of content you need to create.

  6. Design your e-learning website

    If your website is difficult to use, students will quickly get frustrated and give up. And if your website isn’t visually appealing, students will be less likely to take your courses seriously.

  7. Develop your e-learning website

    If you’re not a developer, you might be wondering if you should hire a developer to build your e-learning website. And while there are benefits to hiring a developer, there are also some drawbacks.

  8. Create the course content for your e-learning platform

    The first step is to brainstorm topics for your content. What do you want to teach your audience? What would be helpful for them to know?

  9. Launch your website

    Without a carefully-planning launch, all the effort you put into creating your elearning website will be wasted.

Why build your own e-learning site?

There are many reasons why you might want to create your own e-learning website.

Perhaps you have a unique teaching style or educational philosophy that you want to share with the world. Or maybe you’ve developed a new way of delivering content that you think could be more effective than the traditional classroom setting.

Whatever your motivation, building your own e-learning website can be a great way to achieve your educational goals.

With your own platform, you’ll have complete control over the learning experience you provide to your students. You’ll also be able to build a brand around your unique approach to education.

What types of e-learning website are there?

When it comes to creating an e-learning website, there are a few different approaches you can take. The most popular platforms tend to be either fully self-contained websites or plugins that can be added to an existing website.

Self-hosted e-learning sites made with plugins

Self-contained e-learning websites are usually built on top of a content management system (CMS) like WordPress, Joomla or Drupal. These platforms give you the flexibility to customise your site exactly the way you want it and add any features or functionality you need. They also make it easy to manage your content and keep your courses up-to-date.

If you already have an existing website that you’re happy with, you might want to consider adding an e-learning plugin. These plugins can be used to create a separate learning area on your website without the need for a complete redesign. Many of the most popular WordPress plugins, like LearnDash and LifterLMS, offer this type of functionality.

LMS – Learning Management Systems

An LMS is a learning management system. This type of software is designed to help you create, deliver and manage your online courses. It’s usually used in conjunction with an e-learning website or plugin.

LMS platforms typically provide features like course authoring tools, student progress tracking, quizzes and exams, gamification and badges, and e-commerce integration. They can also be used to deliver content offline, through apps or downloadable PDFs.

Some of the most popular LMS platforms include Moodle, Blackboard and Canvas.

LDS – Learning Destination Sites

A learning destination site is a website that’s specifically designed for e-learning. These sites usually offer a range of different courses, from individual classes to complete degree programs.

Learning destination sites often use an LMS to deliver their content. They may also partner with other educational institutions or businesses to offer their courses.

Bespoke e-learning platforms

Another option is to create a completely bespoke e-learning platform. This approach gives you the greatest flexibility in terms of features and functionality. But it also comes with the highest price tag and can take longer to develop than other options.

If you’re considering a bespoke platform, it’s important to work with a development team that has experience in building e-learning websites. This will help ensure that your platform meets all of your specific needs and requirements.

Now that we’ve looked at some of the different types of e-learning websites, let’s take a look at a few examples.

Examples of the best e-learning website platforms, tools and plugins

There are many different types of e-learning platforms out there, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. To help you choose the right platform for your needs, we’ve put together a list of some of the most popular e-learning websites, tools and plugins.

NumberName of e-learning productWhat is it?
1WordPressThis is one of the most popular content management systems in the world. It’s used by millions of people to create all kinds of websites, from simple blogs to complex e-commerce stores. WordPress is a great option for creating an e-learning website because it’s extremely flexible and easy to use. There are also thousands of plugins and themes available, so you can customize your site to suit your specific needs.
2MoodleThis is a popular open source learning management system that’s used by millions of people around the world. Moodle is a great option for creating an e-learning website because it offers a wide range of features and tools. It’s also very user-friendly and can be easily customized to suit your specific needs.
3BlackboardThis is a popular learning management system that’s used by many universities and schools. Blackboard offers a wide range of features and tools, making it a great option for creating an e-learning website. However, it can be quite complex to use, so it’s not the best choice for beginners.
4Adobe CaptivateThis is an authoring tool that’s used to create e-learning content. Adobe Captivate is a great option for creating an e-learning website because it offers a wide range of features and tools. However, it can be quite complex to use, so it’s not the best choice for beginners
5LearnDashThis is a popular WordPress plugin that’s used to create e-learning websites. LearnDash is a great option for creating an e-learning website because it offers a wide range of features and tools. It’s also quite user-friendly and can be easily customized to suit your specific needs.
6UdemyTthis is a popular online learning platform that offers a wide range of courses. Udemy is a great option for creating an e-learning website because it’s extremely user-friendly and offers a wide range of courses. However, it doesn’t offer as many features and tools as some of the other platforms on this list.
7SkillshareSkillshare is a e-learning platform that allows people to take and teach classes on a variety of topics. Skillshare makes it easy to create an online class, with everything from templates to tools to help you promote your class and manage your students. Skillshare also offers a variety of monetisation options for your e-learning site, including charging for classes, offering subscription access to all of your classes, and more. You can also use Skillshare’s affiliate program to earn revenue from students who sign up for classes through your site.
Best e-learning platforms, tools and plugins

Monetisation models explained

Once you’ve decided on the platform you’re going to use for your e-learning website, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to make money from it. There are a few different monetisation models you can choose from, each with its own pros and cons:

  1. Paid courses
  2. Subscription
  3. Advertising
  4. Sponsorship
  5. Affiliate

With this model, students pay for access to your courses. This is a great way to generate revenue, but it can limit the reach of your courses if you’re not careful about pricing.

2. Subscription

With this model, students pay a monthly or annual fee to have access to all of your courses. This is a great way to generate recurring revenue, but it can be difficult to get people to sign up for subscriptions.

3. Advertising

With this model, you allow advertisers to place ads on your courses. This can be a great way to generate revenue, but it can be disruptive for students and it can limit the reach of your courses if you’re not careful about who you allow to advertise.

4. Sponsorship

With this model, you find sponsors who are willing to pay you to promote their products or services on your courses. This can be a great way to generate revenue, but it can be difficult to find sponsors.

5. Affiliate

With this model, you promote other people’s courses on your website and earn a commission for every student who signs up. This can be a great way to generate revenue, but it can be difficult to find high-quality courses to promote.

E-learning website budgets – how much does it cost to create an e-learning platform?

The cost of creating an e-learning website can vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of platform you choose, the features you want to include, and the amount of content you need to create.

  • If you hire a developer, you can expect to pay $50-$250 per hour.
  • If you want to create a bespoke e-learning platform, you can expect to pay $10,000-$100,000.
  • A typical total budget for an e-learning website, including development, content creation, and marketing, can range from $10,000-$500,000.

Here are a few rough estimates for the cost of building an e-learning website:

  1. WordPress: $0-$5,000
  2. LearnDash: $0-$10,000
  3. LifterLMS: $0-$15,000
  4. Moodle: $0-$20,000
  5. Blackboard: $10,000-$30,000
  6. Canvas: $20,000-$40,000
  7. Udemy: $0-$50,000
  8. Skillshare: $0-$100,000
  9. Codecademy: $0-$250,000
  10. Lynda.com: $500,000-$1,000,000

E-learning website design – the importance of UI and UX

The design of your e-learning website is important for two main reasons: first, because it needs to be easy for students to use; and second, because it needs to be visually appealing. This is where UX and UI come in.

If your website is difficult to use, students will quickly get frustrated and give up. And if your website isn’t visually appealing, students will be less likely to take your courses seriously.

Fortunately, there are a few simple design principles you can follow to make sure your website is easy to use and visually appealing:

Keep it simpleWhen it comes to e-learning websites, less is almost always more. Don’t try to cram too much into your website; instead, focus on making it easy for students to find what they’re looking for.
Use clear and concise languageMake sure the language you use on your website is clear and concise. Avoid using jargon or technical terms unless you’re sure your students will understand them.
Use visualsVisuals are a great way to make your website more appealing and easy to use. Use images, videos, and infographics to break up text and make it easier for students to understand.
Make it responsiveMore and more people are using mobile devices to access the internet, so it’s important that your website is responsive. That means it should be easy to use on all devices, from phones to tablets to laptops.
Use typographyTypography is the art of choosing and using fonts. And while it might not seem important, the right font can make a big difference in how your website looks and feels.
Use whitespaceWhitespace is the empty space on a page. And while it might seem like wasted space, it’s actually an important part of website design. Whitespace can make your website look cleaner and more organized, and it can help students focus on your content.
Be consistentWhen you’re designing your website, it’s important to be consistent. Use the same fonts, colors, and style throughout your website so that it looks cohesive.
Test your designBefore you launch your website, it’s important to test your design. Ask friends and family to take a look at your website and give you feedback. And if you can, hire a professional designer to take a look at your website and give you their expert opinion.
Principles of e-learning website design

E-learning website development – hiring a developer vs building it yourself

If you’re not a developer, you might be wondering if you should hire a developer to build your e-learning website. And while there are benefits to hiring a developer, there are also some drawbacks.

The main benefit of hiring a developer is that they can build your website exactly how you want it. They can add any features you want, and they can make sure your website is responsive and looks great on all devices.The main drawback of hiring a developer is that it can be expensive. Depending on your budget and the features you want, you could end up spending thousands of dollars on your website.

If you’re not sure whether you should hire a developer or build your website yourself, here are a few things to consider:

  • Your budget: How much money do you have to spend on your website? If you have a limited budget, you might not be able to afford to hire a developer.
  • Your skills: Do you have the skills necessary to build your own website? If not, you might need to hire a developer.
  • The features you want: What features do you want on your website? If you want a complex website with lots of features, you might need to hire a developer.
  • The time you have: How much time do you have to build your website? If you don’t have a lot of time, you might need to hire a developer.

If you decide to build your website yourself, there are a few things you’ll need to do:

  1. Choose a platform: The first step is to choose a platform for your website. There are many different options available, so take some time to research and find the one that’s right for you.
  2. Choose a domain name: Once you’ve chosen a platform, you’ll need to choose a domain name for your website. This is the address people will use to find your website, so make sure it’s something easy to remember.
  3. Find hosting: In order to launch your website, you’ll need to find hosting. Hosting is a service that allows your website to be accessible on the internet. There are many different hosting providers available, so take some time to research and find the one that’s right for you.
  4. Install WordPress: Once you’ve chosen a platform and found hosting, you’ll need to install WordPress. WordPress is a software that allows you to create and manage your website.
  5. Choose a theme: Once you’ve installed WordPress, you’ll need to choose a theme for your website. A theme is a collection of files that determines the look and feel of your website. There are many different themes available, so take some time to find the one that’s right for you.
  6. Install plugins: Once you’ve chosen a theme, you can install plugins to add features to your website. Plugins are software programs that extend the functionality of WordPress. There are many different plugins available, so take some time to find the ones that are right for you.
  7. Create your content: The final step is to create your content. This includes the text, images, and videos that will make up your website. Once you’ve created your content, you can publish it to your website and start promoting it to your audience.

How to create the learning content for your new website

  1. Brainstorm topics: The first step is to brainstorm topics for your content. What do you want to teach your audience? What would be helpful for them to know?
  2. Research keywords: Once you’ve brainstormed some topics, it’s time to research keywords. Keywords are the words and phrases people use to search for content on the internet. By researching keywords, you can find out what people are looking for and create content that meets their needs.
  3. Create your content: Once you’ve researched keywords, it’s time to start creating your content. There are many different types of content you can create, so choose the one that’s right for you.
  4. Publish your content: Once you’ve created your content, it’s time to publish it. You can publish your content on your website, on social media, or on other websites.
  5. Promote your content: Once you’ve published your content, it’s time to start promoting it. There are many different ways to promote your content, so choose the one that’s right for you.

Tips for successfully launching your e-learning website

  • Set realistic goals: The first step is to set realistic goals for your website. What do you want to achieve? What do you want your website to accomplish?
  • Plan your content: Once you’ve set your goals, it’s time to start planning your content. What type of content do you want to create? How often will you publish new content?
  • Promote your website: Once you’ve created your content, it’s time to start promoting your website. There are many different ways to promote your website, so choose the one that’s right for you.
  • Launch your website: Once you’ve promoted your website, it’s time to launch it. This is the moment when your website goes live and is accessible to the world.
  • Evaluate your results: Once you’ve launched your website, it’s time to start evaluating your results. Are you meeting your goals? What’s working and what’s not?

FAQ

What is an e-learning website?

An e-learning website is a website that provides online courses or educational resources.

What is an LMS?

An LMS is a software platform that enables you to create, deliver, and manage online courses and educational resources.

How to build your own e-learning website?

The most common ways to build your own e-learning website is to use an LMS platform or to hire a developer to create a custom solution for you.

What are the benefits of creating an e-learning website?

There are many benefits to creating an e-learning website, including the ability to reach a global audience, the ability to create passive income, and the ability to make a difference in people’s lives.

What types of e-learning websites are there?

There are many different types of e-learning websites, including course websites, educational resource websites, and online learning platforms.

How much does it cost to create an e-learning website?

The cost of creating an e-learning website depends on many factors, including the type of website you want to create, the amount of content you need, and the level of customisation you require.

How do I create the learning content for my e-learning website?

There are many different ways to create learning content for your e-learning website. The most important thing is to choose a method that’s right for you and your audience.

How do I promote my e-learning website?

There are many different ways to promote your e-learning website, including social media, search engine optimization, and content marketing.

How do I launch my e-learning website?

The best way to launch your e-learning website is to promote it through social media, email marketing, and content marketing.

What are the most important things to consider when creating an e-learning website?

When creating an e-learning website, it’s important to consider your audience, your goals, and your budget. Additionally, you’ll need to choose a platform and create learning content.

How can I make my e-learning website successful?

There are many different things you can do to make your e-learning website successful, including promoting it through social media, email marketing, and content marketing. Additionally, you can make sure your website is well-designed and user-friendly.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when creating an e-learning website?

Some common mistakes to avoid when creating an e-learning website include not planning your content, not promoting your website, and not considering your audience. Additionally, make sure your website is mobile-friendly and easy to use.

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