WordPress Course Catalog Plugin - Use Case - How to Build a University Catalog


Use Case - How to build a university catalog

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Video Use-Case

The WordPress Course Catalog plugin allows you to create a directory of courses, each with their page.

By combining the add-ons Payments, Dashboard, Form Builder, Waiting List and EDD, you can charge users for register for the courses, organise the waiting lists, gather the information about the students and manage all your courses.

Use Case Assumptions

In this example we'll consider how to build a university catalog with your courses.

We consider that you have already bought the WordPress Course Catalog plugin, but not installed it. 

This documentation follows:

Installing the Plugin

The process is the same for all CM plugins and addons.

CreativeMinds Customer Account Dashboard - Downloads tab
CreativeMinds Customer Account Dashboard
  • Download the plugin from your customer dashboard.
  • Log in to WordPress and navigate to the WordPress Admin → Plugins settings.
  • Click Add New.
  • Activate it and add the license.

Learn more: Getting Started - Plugin Overview


Installing Payment Plugin (EDD)

To install Easy Digital Downloads head to Admin Dashboard → Plugins → Installed Plugins and click Add New

Adding new plugin
Adding new plugin

Search for Easy Digital Downloads and install it.

Installing payment plugin
Installing payment plugin

Configure Payment Plugins

Don't forget to configure the payment plugin! This way you can connect it to payment providers such as PayPal or credit card companies.

EDD settings
EDD settings
EDD Payment Gateways settings
EDD Payment Gateways settings
External Resource

Use Case Front-End

Example of the course catalog - WordPress Plugin for Online Courses
Example of the course catalog

Example of the course page - WordPress Plugin for Creating Online Courses

Example of the course page
Checkout page - LMS Plugin for WordPress
Checkout page
Email notification - LMS WordPress Plugin for Courses
Email notification

Creating categories

First thing you need to do is to create categories to separate your courses by different topics. Doing this is useful for organizing the work with your courses. To add and manage categories, navigate to  Admin Dashboard → CM Course Catalog Pro → Categories.

Navigation to the course categories - WordPress Plugin for Online Courses
Navigation to the course categories

On the right part of the screen you can see the list of the categories that you've created, and on the left side there is a form for adding a new category. Here you need to fill these fields:

  • Name - Title of the course category visible for the admin.
  • Slug - Part of a URL identifying the course category page on your website. For example, the friendly URL for the category can be https://mywordpresscourses/languages, and the slug simply is ‘languages’.
  • Parent Course Category - Make this course a child of another one. 
  • Description - Add a description for the category. The description is not visible on the Frontend, but some themes can show it.
  • Frontend Label - Add a title of the category visible on the Frontend.
  • Featured Image - Upload the image from the Library or your Computer to display with the course category. To delete the image click on the Remove Image button.
  • Course Index Link - Add the page URL where the Back to Course Index button should link to.
Dashboard for managing course categories - WordPress Plugin for Courses
Dashboard for managing course categories

Learn more about Adding and managing categories.

Managing the courses

To manage your current courses, head to Admin Dashboard → CM Course Catalog Pro → Course.

Dashboard for managing courses - E Learning WordPress Plugin
Dashboard for managing courses

This screen offers an overview of all courses. You can filter and edit them. 

To edit a particular course, hover the mouse over it's name so the edit button appears, like so:

Editing the course - WordPress LMS Addon
Editing the course

Creating the course

Now you can start creating your courses. Navigate to Admin Dashboard → CM Course Catalog Pro → Add course.

Adding new course - WordPress LMS Plugin
Adding new course

Here you need to fill the information about your course. Let's do it step-by-step.

1) Course details

Add title - How the course will be identified. This will appear on the Front-End.

Course Long Description - This information will be displayed prominently on the course page. Accepts images, embeds, and formatting.

Adding a course title and description - WordPress Course Catalog Plugin
Adding a course title and description

Template - This template adds a different layout to your course page. Learn more about Creating and Applying Custom Templates.

Choosing a course page template - WordPress Plugin for Online Courses
Choosing a course page template

Course Short Description - A smaller version of the description. This field is not obligatory and may not appear on your site depending on the theme.

Adding short description - WordPress Plugin for Creating Online Courses
Adding short description

Author - Choose the author of the course.

Choosing author - LMS Plugin for WordPress
Choosing author

Who is allowed to register? - Choose who is allowed to register for the course.

Choosing who is allowed to register - LMS WordPress Plugin for Courses
Choosing who is allowed to register

Price of the course (EDD Download) - Every course must have it's own EDD product. You can manually create the product for the course in advance and then choose it in dropdown list, or you can set the Course price and click Create new download button right here, to create relevant product. Important: when you set the Course price here after clicking Create new download you need to reload the page, so the relevant product appears in dropdown list.

Setting up the course price - WordPress Plugin for Online Courses
Setting up the course price

After clicking the Create new download button, a new product related to the course will be created in EDD and chosen in dropdown list.

Choosing created product - WordPress Plugin for Courses
Choosing created product

TIP: Waiting list

If you use the CM Course Catalog Waiting List add-on, you will also have this form while creating the course. It is useful so you don't lose students who can't participate in the course but want to in the future. Learn more about Managing the Waiting list.

Waiting list settings - E Learning WordPress Plugin
Waiting list settings

CM Course Catalog Custom Fields

Syllabus - Detailed description of the syllabus. Accepts images, embeds, and formatting.

Adding course syllabus - WordPress LMS Addon
Adding course syllabus

Additional information - you can write here some additional information that might be useful.

Adding additional information - WordPress LMS Plugin
Adding additional information

Course Banner - Used to decorate your course page. Best size for the banner is 1000px by 3000px. 

Is this course promoted? - If checked, the course will be on the top of search results.

Adding course banner - WordPress Course Catalog Plugin
Adding course banner

Course Picture Gallery -  Add one or more relevant images. 

Adding pictures to the course gallery - WordPress Plugin for Online Courses
Adding pictures to the course gallery

Course Video Gallery

Add YouTube or Vimeo links. Make sure the links follow either of these standards:

Adding video gallery - WordPress Plugin for Creating Online Courses
Adding video gallery

Course Information - This is an important field, where you can specify:

  • Course code
  • Backlink label
  • Number of sessions
  • Total number of hours
  • Minimum number of participants
  • Maximum number of participants
  • Course Price. Note: This value would show up on the Course Page only if there is no EDD product assigned to the course. But for selling the course anyway you will need to set the EDD price.
Adding course information - LMS Plugin for WordPress
Adding course information

Course Periods - Add any number of periods. You can apply taxonomies here. Learn more: WordPress Course Catalog Plugin - Taxonomies

  • Code - Code of the course.
  • Code Link - Link for the course. Note: format of the link must be "https://" or "http://"
  • Start date / End date - Start and end date of the course.
  • Start time / End time - Start and end time of the course.
  • Meetings - Number of meetings on this course.
  • Expired - If checked, then the course will disappear from the Frontend. Note: to make this work, you need to turn Hide expired periods function in settings. Navigate to Admin Dashboad → CM Course Catalog Pro → Settings → Course Page → Course Page Defaults section, and enable Hide expired periods
Adding course periods - LMS WordPress Plugin for Courses
Adding course periods

TIP: Editing the Course Periods Table

Reorder, show or hide different columns of the periods table by dragging the field. You can set different viewing options for desktop and mobile devices.

You can edit it by navigating to Admin Dashboard → CM Course Catalog Pro → Settings → Course Page and scroll to Periods section.

Managing which periods table columns are displayed - WordPress Plugin for Online Courses
Managing which periods table columns are displayed

Course Address and Map

  • Virtual Address - If checked ,all address fields will be not displayed.
  • Show address - If not checked, the address will not appear on course page.
  • Add Google map - If checked, Google map will be displayed on your course page.

You can also hide some address fields if you don't need them.

Adding course address and map - WordPress Plugin for Courses
Adding course address and map

Course Documents

Adding course documents - E Learning WordPress Plugin
Adding course documents

2) Useful metaboxes

On the right side of the page, you will find metaboxes. Editing them is optional, but it will help you group this course with other relevant ones. 

Tags - Add tags separating them with commas to make easier searching of the courses using keywords.

Adding tags - WordPress LMS Addon
Adding tags

Course Categories - You can choose relevant categories from already created or create a new one right here.

Assigning the course to categories - WordPress LMS Plugin
Assigning the course to categories
Page Attributes - Optionally, make this course a child of another one.

If you have existing courses, you can set them as a parent for new courses.

Choosing parent courses - WordPress Course Catalog Plugin
Choosing parent courses

Featured image - Add a featured image, which is usually shown when sharing the link.

Adding featured image - WordPress Plugin for Online Courses
Adding featured image

Course Index Page ID - Select the ID of the page with the [cmcc_course] shortcode. All backlinks will be pointing to that page. Once the plugin is installed, it automatically creates a page with the shortcode in it so you don't have to set it manually.

Setting up a custom course index page ID for a backlink - WordPress Plugin for Creating Online Courses
Setting up a custom course index page ID for a backlink

At the end, when everything is filled, don't forget to press the big blue Publish button!

Result

Now you can see the created course in the list by going to Admin Dashboard → CM Course Catalog Pro → Courses.

Example of the created course - LMS Plugin for WordPress
Example of the created course

You can view the courses and information about registered students on a special dashboard if you installed CM Course Catalog Dashboard add-on. Navigate to Admin Dashboard → CM Course Catalog Pro → Dashboard.

Managing courses with the Dashboard add-on - LMS WordPress Plugin for Courses
Managing courses with the Dashboard add-on

Let's see how the course looks in the Front-end.

Use Case Front-End

Example of the course catalog - WordPress Plugin for Online Courses
Example of the course catalog
Example of the course page - WordPress Plugin for Courses
Example of the course page
Checkout page - E Learning WordPress Plugin
Checkout page
Purchase confirmation - WordPress LMS Addon
Purchase confirmation
Email notification - WordPress LMS Plugin
Email notification

More information about the WordPress Course Catalog Plugin

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