We are all teachers here!
We are guides and coaches, curious and passionate about learning and growing and sharing. We are building an online community in which to share and lift each other up.
We have valuable knowledge, encouragement, support and wisdom to share with those who are eager to learn in a virtual village. Are you ready to make it your life’s work? But not sure how to start? We are here to help you figure out your teaching path. Let’s go!
Building Your Online Presence DIY-style
Do you want to build your site and integrate course building, appointment booking and/or live streaming functions that you can customize to meet your needs?
First of all, you need a website.
We recommend using WordPress to build your website.
When I graduated from my holistic health coaching program, I was “given” a website on a different platform. It functioned well and I liked it before I knew better. Now I know better.
WordPress is the industry leader. All kinds of websites you probably visit every day are WordPress sites.
WordPress is FREE. It is open source software. You can download and modify it in so many ways to make your website function just how you want it to. You can find out more and download at wordpress.org.
WordPress has a whole industry of themes and plugins you can download to truly create and customize your website. (We will share a bit more about this here.)
There are many fantastic developers who work on WordPress, in case you’re interested in hiring help at any time. This can be a big timesaver and even a money saver when you hire the right professional. You can find them on websites like Freelancer. This is the Freelancer we use. She came highly recommended and we highly recommend her to others. When Welvil started, it was a big idea and something that did not currently exist. Many developers were hesitant to take on such a project. Khushbu and her agency has always said yes and made what others thought impossible possible. We also love the idea of empowering other strong women (and men!) around the globe. That’s what Welvil is all about!
Whether or not you decide to hire help in building and maintaining your website, you are still the CEO and have many decisions to make. We are here to help you get a bit more informed on some of these decisions.
Next you need hosting (and a domain)
Before you install the WordPress software to start building your site, you need to pick your domain name and web hosting company. The web hosting company will let you search for an available domain name and you can buy the domain name through them. When we first started, we had our domain and hosting at different companies. We found it simpler to just migrate our domain to our host once our contract was up so we could have everything in one place.
One web host we love is WP Engine. Why do we love it? It’s super easy! It’s a managed WordPress hosting experience, like a concierge experience when it comes to web hosting. They manage installation, performance optimization and updates. They also offer free fixes if your site gets hacked and free routine backups. You can do this or hire someone to do this for you, but WP Engine saves you time and/or money. When your site is hosted by WP Engine, your users can tell. They use a Global CDN which basically means your images and content will load fast and once you start getting lots of traffic to your site, it won’t crash. Your site will load fast and look good. It will be safe and secure. WP Engine also has excellent customer service. We know from first-hand experience! If you decide to go with WP Engine, you will have to get your domain name elsewhere. It’s not really a big deal. We had a great experience having our domain with GoDaddy and they have excellent customer support as well. WP Engine does not provide email accounts, but you can integrate Google’s GSuite or Microsoft Office 365.
Another top alternative is SiteGround, which also has a reputation of having speedy servers and consistent uptime. Along with Dreamhost and Bluehost, they are one of three hosts recommended by WordPress. They have servers in the US, Europe, Asia, and Australia, so your site will run smoothly no matter where in the world it is being viewed. Siteground is highly recommended by many WordPress professionals and consistently ranks at the top of Facebook polls for the best hosting provider. We REALLY love them because they partner with Google Cloud and together they maintain a commitment to carbon neutrality. Learn more about Siteground here.
We also like Bluehost. They are another one of the three hosting companies recommended by WordPress. They provide a clear customized dashboard and online help in choosing your website theme and functions. They also just added WP Pro, which is managed hosting, similar to WP Engine. With WP Pro, you get daily scheduled backups and Malware detection and removal with the lowest priced package. You can also easily get your domain name with them and have it all in one place. Learn more about Bluehost here
Dreamhost is a great hosting choice because it offers affordable pricing along with fast server speed and 100% uptime. They are recommended by WordPress and also offer managed WordPress hosting and a website builder tool. If you are outside of the US, or your market tends to be, Dreamhost’s servers are all within the US, which may affect your site’s performance for users overseas. Click here to learn more about Dreamhost.
Cloudways offers a lot of great options for hosting, if you know exactly what you need. For example, their pricing varies by which data centers you want to use (eg. Amazon’s AWS or Google Cloud). Like WP Engine, they don’t offer domain names so you just get your domain elsewhere and point it to their servers. You can find out how to do this on their website. We also love their straight-forward no-contract pricing.
Then choose a WordPress Theme and Plugins
Envato is a marketplace where you can buy WordPress themes and plug-ins to use to design your website. They feature themes and add-ons for plug-ins like WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads. See all their design savvy eCommerce themes here.
WooCommerce is a free WordPress plug-in that allows you to sell all kinds of things on your website. It allows you to sell products, courses and offers add-ons to facilitate client booking and subscriptions. WooCommerce offers basic themes that work well, but we recommend checking out the other themes available from Envato to consider. The basic plug-in is free, but there are fees for some add-ons. WooCommerce is powerful and used by many eCommerce websites.
Easy Digital Downloads
Easy Digital Downloads is another WordPress plug-in that helps you sell online. Whereas WooCommerce is designed to sell physical products (you can also sell digital products), Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) is specifically designed to sell digital products (like services and courses). We use EDD and we love all the available add-ons. There isn’t a free version of EDD, but the paid version offers a lot of features that you would pay for on other platforms, and some add-ons are less expensive, so depending on what you want your site to do, it may end up being less expensive for comparable features. EDD also has a reputation of being really fast out of the box. So your site will run fast and smooth without too much tweaking involved. EDD includes add-ons to allow you to accept a variety of payments (like Stripe) and integrate with email marketing (like MailChimp). With EDD you can also create packages and variable pricing. The features are practically endless!
Plug-ins for Booking Virtual Meetings, Hosting Webinars
WooCommerce offers a Booking add-on with lots of great features. You can use it to book appointments or schedule group classes. You can allow special pricing for groups or individuals. If you are using WooCommerce, this is a great tool for scheduling appointments
Webinar Press is a plug-in that allows you to host live webinars and recorded webinars, sell tickets to your webinars, create “member only” webinars and interact with your attendees. Webinar Press offers WooCommerce integration, so you can charge for your webinars (your live or recorded classes). You can create custom landing pages for your webinars and send customized emails. This can be a great tool for group exercise, yoga or other classes!
Plug-ins for Creating Courses
Once you’ve built your site, chosen a theme and plug-ins to fit your booking or streaming needs, you may want to offer courses to your clients. There are several platforms available to help you get your courses online.
WooCommerce offers a learning management system (LMS) called Sensei. You can create free courses with Sensei and use the WooCommerce plug-in called Paid Courses to sell the courses. WooCommerce Paid Courses allows you to offer subscriptions and memberships (paid features), which is a really nice feature. We also love that clients can gift your course with the WooCommerce Gifting add-on
Lifter is another option to sell your courses on your website. It also features WooCommerce integration to help you sell your courses and offer different payment gateways. Lifter allows you to bundle courses and offer memberships. You can create your own “Facebook-like” social learning community and facilitate discussions between your enrollees.
We have used LearnDash to create courses and it is super easy to use. They have a simple course builder that makes setting up your course fast, even if you are a WordPress newbie. We just created our edited videos, uploaded them to YouTube (you can also use Vimeo for extra security and features), then added them to our courses. You can also upload other materials like PDFs. LearnDash integrates with all modern themes, so you can customize the look and functionality of your site. They also include lots of extras and free integration with EDD and WooCommerce. We use EDD with LearnDash, and we love that we can offer our clients bundles, memberships and coupon codes. There are also free and affordable add-ons to customize the look of your course and integrate it fully with your personal branding. We also love LearnDash’s instructional videos that are built right into the course builder. They guided us to set up our course easily with no prior experience.
Here’s hoping this gets you started in the right direction towards building your wellness empire. The world needs YOU!