Creating Your First Course in Zippy Courses
We’ve designed Zippy Courses to be the easiest way possible for you to get started creating and selling your own online courses. No configuring servers, no installing a ton of plugins or extensions, and no painful setup process. With Zippy Courses, you can create your first course in just a few minutes.
This article will show you how to get a simple free course ready to promote to your students when starting with a brand new Zippy Courses site. In a separate article, we will show you how you can quickly start selling your course to prospective students.
The Basics of an Online Course
When you’re creating an online course, there are a few key components to consider:
- Your Course’s Homepage: Every course needs a landing page that students can reach to view your course.
- The Lessons Within Your Course: Most courses have too much content to be contained on one page. So you want to be able to separate your course into individual lessons, like chapters within a book. You can also further group these lessons into Units, which lets you group your course content by broader topics.
- The Registration System: You don’t want to add every student to your site manually, so you need a method for automating the process to get students into your course, whether you’re charging for your course or collecting email leads.
- Student Communication: Whether it’s small reminders to students or important messages on changes to your course, you need a way to easily contact your students.
Without a course building tool like Zippy Courses, each of these individual components could be a massive investment. But with Zippy, all of these components work together seamlessly, to create a smooth experience for your students.
Creating the First Course
The first place you want to go in Zippy Courses is the Courses tab in your site’s sidebar. This page will show you all of the courses that you’ve created so far. However, if you’re new to Zippy Courses, your course list will be blank:
No problem. To begin, click the button labeled Create New Course. That will bring you to the first page of the Zippy Courses Course Creator:
There are multiple steps to the course creation process, so let’s start with the Course Details. This page is where you set up the basic information that appears on your course’s homepage. Each major component is broken down below:
- Course Title: This is where you set your course’s title. Your students will see this title, so make sure this matches what your students will expect to be purchasing. You can change this at any time.
URL: By default, Zippy Courses sets a random string of letters and numbers as your course’s URL. If you want to make your URL a little more memorable, you can click the Edit button next to the course URL to enter a URL of your choice.
Note: Updating this URL will cause the old link to no longer work. Make sure you settle on the URL you’d like before you start sending your links to your students.
- Status: The status of your course determines if your course is visible to your students or not. A course that is saved as a Draft can not be viewed by students, so you can modify and prepare the course to your liking. When you’re ready to share your course with your students, you will set this option to Publish.
- Course Synopsis: The course synopsis is a short description of your course, which will show up on your student's dashboard. This is a short-and-sweet, 1-2 sentence summary to remind your students what sort of content is included in the course.
- Course Description: The course description is the “meat” of your course’s homepage, where you can provide an overall summary of your course. Students will view this description before they view your units and lessons, which will let them get an idea of what to expect from your course.
- Featured Image: The featured image is a header image that is displayed at the top of your course, as well as on your student’s dashboard.
- Featured Video: Similar to the featured image but will display a video on your student’s course homepage. If both a featured image and a video are set, the video will be shown on the course homepage and the image will be used as a thumbnail on your student’s dashboard.
Once you’ve added this content to your course details, your course homepage will appear like this to students:
But that’s just the beginning. Now, it’s time to add the backbone of your course - your lessons. In our next lesson, we'll show you how to create and edit the units and lessons in your course.