What Website Builder Should Course Creators Use?
Deciding what website builder/provider to use is a decision course creators face early in their online teaching journey, often before they’ve figured out what they really NEED in a website.
I go more into why course creators need websites in my Course Creator's Masterclass, so check that out if you're not sure if you need a website!
I get questions about what website builder/provider I use all the time, and I often see online debates about which one is best, so I know this is a topic many course creators have trouble with. In this article I go into my personal experience, but of course you will have to weigh the options based on your needs for your specific business!
I have used Wordpress for over 10 years for various websites and have to say it has been the most reliable editor I’ve used. Even when I’ve had tech problems with my site, Wordpress has a live chat feature with a REAL person who can help talk through fixes (and I’ve gotten myself into some serious doozies over the years).
If you’re putting your classes on platforms other than your own website (like Skillshare, Youtube, etc.), I think Wordpress is the best option because 1) It works well with most plugins and other platforms 2) the editor is easy to use and never seems to fail and 3) their customer service is great and 4) it’s relatively cheap compared to something like Kajabi.
That being said, if you want to host classes on your website, Wordpress may not be a great option because you would still have to pay for video hosting. That being said, a lot of the popular teaching platforms like Teachable integrate with Wordpress, so you could definitely make it work if that is something you see yourself doing in the future.
Squarespace is a great option for anyone who wants to sell products on their website and wants an easy drag and drop website builder. While Wordpress is great for building a website with endless functionality (that sometimes requires some coding), Squarespace is a super user-friendly platform for dragging and dropping a website into fruition.
The main focus of Squarespace is sales, so if you wanted to do something like a subscription box to go along with your courses, this would be a great option. While you could sell products via your Wordpress site, it would require another plugin and possibly another monthly fee, whereas Squarespace is built to sell.
Kajabi is the platform I’m using for this site and my Course Creator’s Masterclass and I absolutely love the editor and all the other features that come with Kajabi which easily plug into the website. Here’s a quick example: You are writing a blog post and you think, “hey, I would love to have a button right here that lets people sign up for my mailing list with a fancy pop up”. In Kajabi that is super easy. You could also insert a payment button for your course or a featured blog post for example.
Because Kajabi is an all-in-one program (course hosting, mailing lists, email campaigns, memberships, coaching, and website builder) it’s easy to integrate all of these elements with each other. It’s also cheaper than paying several different companies to do each of these tasks separately.
If you’re early in your course creation journey though, you may not be ready to host classes on your site or use a lot of the advanced marketing tools that Kajabi offers.
What about Teachable, you ask? Honestly I've never tried it, so I can't speak to its quality. However every time I tried to research it, I found a video or article about why that person was leaving Teachable for Kajabi. Essentially Kajabi is an all-in-one service, so you avoid paying for a lot of different platforms, while Teachable offers a more course-creator-specific service. So if you just need to host classes on your site and nothing else, Teachable might be a great option for you!
If you're debating between Teachable and Kajabi, you might want to watch this video.
What about Wix?
Wix is a super simple drag and drop website builder that is great for beginners or anyone who considers themselves tech-challenged. I used Wix for a while, but found it had a lot of limitations for some of the plugins and features I wanted on my site, so for me Wix is not the best option. However if you know you want to keep your website simple with just links and images (no course hosting, no widgets and plugins, etc.) then Wix could be a great option for you.
No matter where you build your website, you're going to need a website host. Godaddy is the company that stores all of your files and data. I have used Godaddy for over 10 years and have never had any complaints.
Please, Oh Please, Back Up Your Website!
Godaddy offers a back-up option which backs up your website automatically as often as you'd like. That came in handy for me when someone hacked into my website and erased all my data! Godaddy had all of my data stored, so all I had to do is download the last version (and hire someone to un-hack my website). Imagine if I had lost the last 3 years of blog posts, images, and more importantly SEO. Once it's gone, you can't get it back!
Don't Give In To Decision Fatigue!
I hope this post was helpful for you, but of course it's important to do a lot of research before choosing a platform. Most of these platforms offer deals for signing up for 1+ years, so choose wisely! Also they all offer trials, so use up that trial and try out each platform before deciding.
Also though, don't let decision fatigue stop you from starting your website. I started with Wix, hated it, moved to Wordpress, still have Wordpress but also use Kajabi. So no website path is going to be perfectly clear and straight!
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