Ever since its inception, WordPress has quickly risen to the topmost tier of the internet. The best part of the CMS is the sheer volume of the user-base. You might already know that WordPress currently powers almost 30% of all web pages. You’ve got millions of users running their websites, trying their bit with editing the code, figuring out which plugin they need, and most importantly, discussing their queries.
The best way to discuss your queries is through forums. But mind you! Forums are not just meant for queries. They also help you stay in touch with the latest news, get feedback from fellow WordPress-admins and resolve known issues quickly.
For instance, let’s take LearnDash, the most popular WordPress LMS. Now, if you are a LearnDash user, you might know that it is not a perfect plugin, although it comes close. The forum you need to be a part of is the “LearnDash Tips and Tricks” group on Facebook. I might sound like a blatant promoter, but given that WisdmLabs is invested in supporting the LearnDash community through products, for me, the feedback shared here is pure gold!
You will find all types of discussions, with varying levels of LearnDash experience. There are people who are just starting out and thus have setup queries. They also have plugins to choose from. You will also find those who are quite experienced in running Learndash but have optimizations to take care of. For example, quite recently, I came across a discussion about scheduling LearnDash courses.
Check out the screenshots below:
This is a pretty common requirement and simple to understand. LMS website owners want to schedule courses for the following reasons:-
- Courses specific to a particular semester: This is generally useful when your LMS offers long-term course programs, which are divided into semesters, just like conventional colleges. Obviously, you cannot fit all courses in a single semester. Also, if the courses are dependant on each other, then they have to be scheduled. For instance, in a photography diploma program, you probably have to learn about lighting and the basics of a DSLR in the first semester before you proceed to more advanced courses. So, the availability has to be adjusted accordingly.
- Time-sensitive courses: Suppose there is a vacation approaching. Your students will have ample time and almost nothing constructive to do. So, if you offer them a limited period course, for say, a duration of 30 days, then they will be attracted to take it up. Similar time sensitive courses can be offered to students like a crash course before a major competitive exam and so on.
- Courses based on instructor availability: Let’s face it. When you scale up your LMS, your troubles increase too. When there is a multitude of courses being offered by a number of instructors, you might need to allocate the availability of courses accordingly. Also, the instructors might not be available for the whole year. So you need a scheduling system to help you with the allocation of courses.
- To create a buzz about the course: Suppose there is a popular course on your LMS. Now, to get more traction and sign-ups, you can make it a limited duration course. Creating an urgency works wonders for sign-ups!
Whatever the reasons may be, the underlying requirement is scheduling LearnDash courses and making them available only for a certain period of time. Once the time has passed, students will not be able to enroll in the course, and this course will be locked until it is available next or might be removed from the website altogether. How do you go about this? The solution is simple.
Scheduling LearnDash Courses
Now, as far as LearnDash is concerned, scheduling courses is not a functionality that’s available off-the-shelf. But all you need is a couple of plugins to be able to schedule the course enrollment for a limited period of time:
- Scheduler for WooCommerce
Without a doubt, WooCommerce is the most popular option to sell your LearnDash courses. And if you’re already using WooCommerce, that’s awesome! If not, you’ll have to set up WooCommerce and add your courses as products.
Pro Tip: If you want a perfect WooCommerce setup, you can always contact the experts!
For scheduling LearnDash courses, all you need is to install Scheduler for WooCommerce and let the magic begin!
Here’s how we schedule a sample course using the plugin:
Step 1: Create a course type product.
Step 2: Set the start date or duration of the course using Scheduler for WooCommerce.
Various Scheduling Options
Scheduler for WooCommerce provides two options to schedule the courses:-
- Duration Based – This option is perfect for semester-based courses or time-sensitive courses. In this feature, you can schedule courses within your desired date range. The course will be available for the entire duration of the date range, without any exceptions.
- Day/Time-Based – This option is perfect when you have instructors who are available only on particular days or time. You can select a date range and mention the days on which you need the course to be available. You can also select a particular combination of date as well as time with the course.
Apart from being a product and course scheduling plugin, Scheduler for WooCommerce can help you out with testing new courses. Also, selling courses for a limited time and by adding a countdown timer is a useful marketing strategy because it creates a sense of urgency amongst buyers, urging them to make a purchase.
Some more useful features of the plugin:
- A frontend timer for more urgency in the buyers.
- Option to hide products/ courses if they are unavailable
- Custom unavailability messages.
- Schedule individual products as well as categories of products.
Scheduler for WooCommerce can be purchased for as little as $39 – single activation, or for $129 – 2 site activation for a lifetime license.
What are your thoughts on scheduling courses? Do comment below!